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RS 403-75 

cl^^lf^pl : CI^JRc^6T 

Authoritarianism and Militarism in Southern Europe 

1 of 1 
OPR 403 

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Research Study 


■ CmifiiluillJf 

OPR 403 
March 1975 

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Unauthorized Disclosure Subject to Criminal Sanctions 

Sub}ect to General Declassification Schedule 
of E.O. 11652, Automatically Downgraded at 
Two Year Intervals and Declassified on 
March 1982 

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March 1975 


NOTE: This study was prepared by the Office of Political 
Research. Other agencies and CIA offices were consulted, but the 
study has not been formally coordinated and does not represent an 
official CIA position. The issuing office is aware that the complex 
and controversial matters discussed lend themselves to other in- 
ter p ret at ions 1 Commcnts on the paper will be welcomed by the 
author, ^ code 143, extension 5441. 




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This study, on Authoritarianism and Militarism in Southern 
Europe, is a relatively new form of intelligence production, which the 
issuing office has labelled “functional research.” The major purpose ; s 
to analyze important political phenomena that are so common that 
there is a tendency to take them for granted — either not to define them 
at all or to define them in value terms that fit special cases. This series 
attempts to provide value-free definitions and assessments that cut 
across borders and regions and that offer intelligence officers and pol- 
icy-makers alike a framework for a more systematic grasp of subjects 
they encounter regularly under many different guises. 

The object of functional research, then, is to elaborate a useful 
analytical framework for country and regional specialists as well as for 
generalists. In this study, ^^^^^^fexamines the circumstances un- 
der which the various forms of authoritarian rule tend to emerge and 
persist, the characteristic strengths and weaknesses of such regimes, 
and the constraints on the development of the prerequisites for stable 
democratic practice. Subsequently, Spain, Yugoslavia, Portugal, 
Greece, Italy, and Turkey are covered in case studies to indicate how 
an assessment of authoritarian traditions and practices can serve to 
complement and place into perspective other ways of examining the 
complex issues determining the course of events in Southern Europe. 



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I'.i I 

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The Nature of the Beast 4 

The Why and Wherefore 5 

Strengths and Weaknesses 6 



The Problems of Authoritarian Succession: 

Spain and Yugoslavia 8 

Spain 8 

Yugoslavia II 

Opening Pandora’s Box: Portugal and Greece .... 14 

Portugal 14 

Greece 18 

Democratic Institutions in Jeopardy: Italy and Turkey 22 

Italy 22 

Turkey 24 




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—Although it takes many different forms, modern day 
authoritarianism can be viewed as a distinctive political 
system — one which generally places far less arduous demands on a 
society than either totalitarianism or representative democracy. 

For many nations it is, in effect, the only feasible system of rule. 

For many more, particularly for those with long-standing 
authoritarian traditions, it offers an easy way out when an attempt 
at democratic (or, in the case of Yugoslavia, totalitarian) practice 
runs into trouble. 

—The societal characteristics and problems that give rise to 
military intervention and to prolonged or recurrent authoritarian 
rule are similar, and these conditions tend to be especially 
prevalent and pronounced in “developing” countries beset by the 
disruptive impact of belated modernization. 

—Even when civilians are at the helm, the internal dynamics of 
authoritarian rule tend to keep the military involved in politics ir a 
significant way — whether as an active participant in policy-making 
councils, an intermittent veto group, or simply the ultimate arbiter 
of political strife. 

— Thus, for most of the world today, authoritarianism and 
militarism are norms, not aberrations. And if world-wide 
economic strains continue to exacerbate the problems associated 
with modernizing change, the chances are that both phenomena 
will become even more common in the decade ahead. 

— Under certain circumstances, authoritarianism can be a fairly 
stable and effective form of rule over comparatively long periods of 
time — even in countries which have passed well beyond the initial 
stages of social and economic development. 

— Nevertheless, the key internal balances and trade-offs upon 
which the successful operation and stability of authoritarian rule 
depend are easily upset. Hence, most authoritarian regimes are 
prone to recurrent crisis and political violence. And while such 
domestic turbulence may trigger movement toward more efficient 
and possibly more democratic government, it is more likely to 
result in paralysis and the emergence oi still another ineffective 
authoritarian regime. 

—As a long term proposition (i.e., anything over five years), direct 
military rule has a propensity to suffer from a number of distinct 


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and potentially serious weaknesses. But in the short to medium 
term, it would seem to make little difference per sc whether soldiers 
or civilians head up an authoritarian regime. 

— To be stable and effective, any non-totaiitarian 
regime — whether authoritarian or democratic — must be in basic 
consonance with prevailing customs and circumstances. 
Moreover, a nation s political culture cannot be changed bv fiat: 
although far from immutable, its evolution is a function of overall 
societal development. 

* * * * 

— Succession presents a delicate problem for any authoritarian 
regime. As illustrated by the atmosphere of uncertainty prevailing 
in Spain and Yugoslavia today, this is particularly true of per- 
sonalistic dictatorships. At best, both countries are likely to ex- 
perience fairly lengthy periods of instability once their present 
supreme leaders leave the scene. 

— Efforts to establish representative democracy face formidable 
obstacles in fragmented societies endowed with strong 
authoritarian traditions and subject to the destabilizing pressures 
of rapid social and economic change. Portuguese prospects for a 
relatively swift and orderly transition to democratic rule — poor 
from the outset— are now virtually nil. And although Greece is off 
to a fa 7 " more promising start, there is at least an even chance that 
it will revert to some form of authoritarian rule within the next five 
to ten years. 

— In both Italy and Turkey, weakly-rooted democratic institutions 
are currently being tested by the combined weight of incongruous 
traditions, pressures associated with modernizing change, and 
world-wide economic strains. In Turkey, another interlude of 
direct or indirect military rule is a distinct possibility. And even in 
Italy, the longer-term outlook for democratic rule is guarded. 

— The outlook for Southern Europe as a whole over the next ten 
years is for considerable turbulence and political experimentation. 
And while the prospects for the survival or revival of democratic 
practices vary widely throughout the area, the chances arc that the 
bulk of this experimentation will focus on differing forms of 
authoritarian rule. 

— There is a danger that this situation could result in the 
emergence of new extremist dictatorships of either the left or the 
right. Moreover, continued political instability alone might breed 
xenophobic nationalism. 



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Over the past several decades, authoritarian 
government and direct military intervention in politics 
have been cither constant or recurrent phenomena in 
most countries of the world. Some observers, par- 
ticularly those who perceive the widely disparate 
manifestations of authoritarian rule as mutant or nas- 
cent forms of totalitarianism or democracy, consider 
this to be an unnatural and therefore transitory state 
of affairs. This paper, however, is based on the 
premise that, for all its variants, modern-day 
authoritarianism is itself a distinctive system of 
rule — one in essence neither totalitarian nor 
democratic, and one in which the military establish- 
ment generally plays a significant political role. 

It is further postulated that the factors favoring 
authoritarianism and militarism are similar, and that 
these factors tend to be especially prevalent and po- 
tent in “developing” countries beset by the destabiliz- 
ing effects of belated modernization. To put it 
directly, for most of the world today, authoritarianism 
and militarism are norms not aberrations. Indeed, the 
only practical governmental alternatives for a very 
large number of nations are between different kinds of 
authoritarian rule — rather than between 
authoritarianism on the one hand, and either 
democracy or totalitarianism on the other. And if 
world-wide economic strains continue to exacerbate 
the problems associated with modernization and 
development, the chances arc that both 
authoritarianism and militarism will become even 
more common in the decade ahead. 

The principal objectives of this research study are 
(1) to examine the causes, nature, and consequences 
of authoritarian rule and of the separate but overlap- 
ping phenomenon of direct military intervention in 
political affairs, and (2) to assess the local and inter- 
national implications of both. Although the obser- 
vations and judgments concerning authoritarianism 
and militarism advanced herein are intended to have 
broad applicability, the geographic focus of the paper 
is limited to the non-totalitarian states of Southern 

Why Southern Europe ? First of all, most recent ef- 
forts to explore the sources and effects of 
authoritarianism and militarism have retained a 
rather traditional focus on the demonstrably 
“backward” members of the international com- 
munity; hence, there is a distinct analytical gap to be 
filled. Then too, the US has a major strategic stake in 
the Mediterranean Basin. Although there are other 
regions that share this distinction, there is no 
other area where so many unsettling trends and 
forces — including nationalism, modernization, 
irredentism, religious and ethnic conflict, great power 
competition and intervention, and the personal am- 
bitions of the individual leaders— are as openly and as 
vigorously at play. Because of this, the internal af- 
fairs of states which border the Mediterranean or its 
approaches tend to be particularly likely to spill over 
onto the international stage. 

Moreover, the turbulent course of political 
developments in Southern Europe over the past cen- 
tury provides ample illustration of the nature, 
strength, and persistence of authoritarian imperatives 
in developing countries; the diversity in form and 
direction of military intervention and authoritarian 
rule; and authoritarianism’s fundamental strengths 
and weaknesses as a modern-day political system. 
Within the memory of living man, Spain, Portugal, 
Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Turkey have all ex- 
perienced recurrent and prolonged periods of 
authoritarian rule. Three r f the six are currently en- 
dowed with incontestably authoritarian regimes. Of 
the remainder, only Italy has clung to a democratic 
form of government throughout the post-World War 
II era — setting something of a record for political in- 
stability and inefficiency in the process. 

There arc, of course, innumerable factors that will 
influence the evolution of domestic and foreign policy 
in Southern Europe. It is not the purpose of this paper 
to proffer some sort of quick and easy substitute for 
painstaking case-by-case analysis. Rather, it is hoped 
that the generalizations about authoritarianism and 
militarism and the brief country assessments set forth 
below will furnish a useful analytical framework for 
more definitive country studies. 



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It is perhaps more difficult today than ever before to 
group governments into neat categories. Not only are 
there nearly twice as many independent countries 
than just a decade or so ago, but in most cases there is 
little correlation between constitutional pretension 
and political practice. Although nearly all contem- 
porary regimes claim to be democratic, relatively few 
can be classified as representative democracies by any 
meaningful definition of the term. An even smaller 
number can usefully be considered totalitarian dic- 
tatorships. The remainder can be divided up in many 
ways. It ; s postulated here, however, that for all their 
variety the governments of most post-traditional 
societies fall within the bounds of a third and less 
demanding system of rule: authoritarianism. 1 

The Nature of the Beast 

In an authoritarian system, predominant power is 
exercised by a single leader or narrow autocratic elite 
neither responsible to the general public nor fully sub- 
ject to legal restraints. At the same time, however, a 
limited number of relatively autonomous special 
interest groups can and do influence the political proc- 
ess. This last-mentioned trait — hereafter subsumed 
under the rubric of limited political pluralism — re- 
quires special emphasis: of all characteristic features 
of authoritarianism, it is perhaps the most critical to 
understanding the dynamics and limitations of the 

Although the leadership of an authoritarian regime 
effectively stands above the law, its freedom of action 
is restricted in often predictable ways by the constant 
need to manage and manipulate interest group 
pressures and conflict. Control is maintained through 
a combination of repression of clearly inimical in- 
dividuals or groups and conscious efforts to play the 
remaining political actors off against each other in 
such a way that none becomes strong enough to 
challenge the existing order or even to appear to offer 
a viable alternative. This is hardly an easy task at 
best; and, as will be illustrated in subsequent discus- 

' Professor Juan J. Linz is one of the foremost academic proponents of 
the concept of a distinctive authoritarian system of rule. Linzs earliest 
and most complete statement of his model is presented in his “An 
Authoritarian Regime: Spain,” in Cleavages, Ideologies, and Parly 
Systems , cd. Erik Allardt and Yrjo Littuncn (Helsinki: Wcstcrmark 
Society, 1904), pp. 291-342. 

sion of potential succession problems in Spain and 
Yugoslavia, its difficulty increases with the number 
and variety of groups whose interests must be taken 
into account. 

Directly or indirectly, the armed forces play a key 
role in the establishment of any authoritarian regime. 
Thereafter, even if power passes to (or remains in) 
civilian hands, latent instability and the con- 
flict-oriented dynamics of authoritarian rule usually 
insure that the military establishment continues to 
play a significant political role— whether as an active 
participant in policy-making councils, an intermittent 
veto group, or simply the ultimate arbiter of political 

The internal dynamics of authoritarian rule also 
impose certain practical constraints on ideological ri- 
gidity, electoral practices, and even levels of popular 
political mobilization. 2 Within these bounds, however, 
authoritarianism can take many forms — not only with 
respect to general ideological orientation, but (as il- 
lustrated by variations in the number and type of 
political parties found under authoritarian rule) in 
terms of organizational structure as well. For ex- 
ample, all political parties were banned during 
Greece’s recent interlude of military *ule. Both Spain 
and Yugoslavia presently have one-party systems, but 
Franco’s National Movement and Tito’s League of 
Communists are poles apart in terms of functional 
role and institutional strength. There are multi-party 
authoritarian systems as well: what might be termed 
the "predo minant pa rty” type has long beer ex- 
emplified by political practice, while an of- 

ficially imposed two-party variant is currently 
employed in Brazil. 25X6 

Although it is generally relatively easy to dis- 
tinguish a multi-party authoritarian regime from a 
representative democracy, the dividing line between 
authoritarianism and totalitarian dictatorship at the 
other end of the political spectrum is less evident. 
Indeed, many non-democratic governments seem to 

•’Even though efforts to rally and organize the population may be re- 
quired at certain critical points in the evolution of any authoritarian 
regime, the sort of sustained and extensive politicization of the citizenry 
found in both representative democracies and totalitarian dictatorships 
is basically incompatible with the domestic imperatives of limited 
pluralism. In time, such politicization would simply overtax the system 
by whetting popular expectations, generating a destabilizing prolifera- 
tion of groups seeking to influence the political process, and alienating 
those established elites which were threatened with the loss or diminu- 
tion of their traditional prerogatives. 


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exhibit some or all of the traits generally attributed 
to totalitarianism/ But on close examination, only the 
more rigid Communist regimes seem to fill the bill. 
For example, in all other possible candidates for this 
distinction, the monopoly parties lack the cohesion 
and political clout of their counterparts in the classic 
Fascist, Nazi, and Soviet models. Political repression is 
commonplace, but vigorous efforts to employ the full 
range of totalitarian thought and behavior controls 
are notably lacking. And while lip service may be paid 
to the goal of a monolithic society, conflicting interests 
are both recognized and — within limits — tolerated as 
essential to the operation of the authoritarian system . 4 

The Why and Wherefore 

Under most circumstances, authoritarianism places 
far less arduous demands on a society than either 
totalitarianism or representative democracy. In ad- 
dition, it is adaptable to a wide range of local con- 
ditions. For many nations it is, in effect, the only feasi- 
ble system of rule. For many more — particularly for 
those with long-standing authoritarian traditions — it 
oifcrs an easy way out when an attempt at democratic 
practice runs into trouble. 

There are many factors which bear on the establish- 
ment and persistence of authoritarian rule — a fact un- 
derscored by that phenomenon's seemingly capricious 
record/ Among these, cultural and historical heritage 
(c.g., the constellation of hierarchical, patronal, and 
corporatist customs that make up the so-called 
“ Iberian tradition"), deep-seated societal cleavages and 
conflicts , external inspiration and pressures, and the accident 
of charismatic leadership frequently play particularly 
prominent roles. But in recent years at least, the key 
catalytic factor has most often seemed to be the disrup- 

*A particularly comprehensive listing of the characteristic features of 
totalitarianism is provided in Carl J. Friedrich and Zbigniew K. 
Brzczinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy. Second Edition 
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), pp. 22-23. 

Since no totalitarian system has been able to repress all pluralistic 
tendencies, the difference here is one of degree. Indeed, it can be argued 
from the slow but steady rise in the influence of professionally-based 
sub-elites in the USSR that the Soviet system is itself inching toward 

'Authoritarian regimes have emerged as the result of breakdowns of 
colonial rule, of traditional societies, and of existing democracies. At 
least one (Yugoslavia's) gren out of an infant and ill-starred totalitarian 
dictatorship. Some have persisted, changing in nature and !eadci*ship 
over time. Others have given way to more democratic forms of 
government, often only to reemerge in new guise just a fe w years later. 



tree impact of social and economic changes associated with 

Not only docs the modernization process itself favor 
efforts to centralize and expand political authority, 
but by fostering political lag or political decay , it can 
result in a breakdown of domestic order and a con- 
sequent imposition (or rcimposition ) of authoritarian 
rule. Political lag may be defined simply as the failure 
of political development (particularly insMtution- 
building) to keep pace with socio-economic develop- 
ment. Political decay refers to the actual breakdown 
of established political institutions which, for one 
reason or another, are no longer suited to the times. 

Although felt everywhere, the destabilizing effects 
of modernizing change are quite naturally most 
pronounced — and most widespread — among states 
that arc still in an early or middle stage of social and 
economic development/ The problems faced by such 
nations arc enormous. Rapid increases in literacy, ex- 
posure to mass media, industrialization, urbanization, 
and per capita income expand the politically relevant 
segment of the population and generate a sharp rise in 
expectations. Whether or not such factors as poverty 
of natural resources or traditional ethnic animosities 
pose additional complications, the general prolifera- 
tion of nc\v social forces and requirements places great 
strains on existing political institutions. And if these 
prove resistant to or incapable of necessary adap- 
tation, either political lag or political decay ensues. 

A society thus afflicted generally enters (o lapses 
back into) what political scientists now commonly 
refer to as a praetorian phase, i.c., one characterized by 
the politicization of all significant social groupings 
and the lack of political institutions strong enough to 
mediate, refine, and moderate their interaction/ 

Under these conditions, contending groups in- 

A detailed analysis of the political ramifications of socio-economic 
change will be presented in OPR’s forthcoming 7 hr Politic .7 
l mf dii aftnm of Modernization: 7 he lira 'than ('a\e. 

/vs a group, these countries migm nest ue ' narac icnzcd as vie - 
tims ol delayed development. Whether because of foreign domination, 
geographic or self-imposed isolation, the strength of traditional 
customs and institutions, or a combination of these and other fac- 
tors, all of them were rather late entrants in the modernization 
game. And to add to the other problems they face in trying to catch 
up, the destabilizing impact of social and economic change in- 

"A detailed analysis of practorianism is provided in Samuel P. Hun- 
tington's Political Order in (.'hanging Sncirtm (New Haven: Yale 
University Press, 19681. pp. 79-82 and 192-263. CPYRGHT 

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creasingly resort to various forms of direct action (e.g.. 
bribery, coercion, terrorism, work stoppages, and 
demonstrations), and the military establishment is in- 
evitably drawn towai d the center of the political stage. 
The overall situation strongly favors the imposition of 
a law-and-order authoritarian solution, even if only on 
an interim basis. Indeed, in those countries which by 
dint of local circumstance habitually seem to suffer 
from a lack of strong political institutions, military 
coup^ and revolving-door authoritarian governments 
have become characteristic features of the political 

Strengths and Weaknesses 

Obviously, authoritarianism is far from a sure-fire 
cure for socio-economic growing pains. Its repeated 
and sometimes dramatic failures are evidence enough 
of this. But most of these failures have occurred under 
circumstances which would have made it very difficult 
to establish and maintain any sort of effective 
government. Effectual rule is, in fact, an elusive quali- 
ty for most of the world; whatever the form of 
government, the requirements are stringent. 

performance with respect to a few basic tasks. Briefly 
stated, they arc: 

— Centralize and expand political power. Stable 
authoritarian rule rests on clear-cut hierarchical 
relationships. Yugoslav ext hence illustrates how 
elusive this goal can be in a country where cultural- 
ly and economically based aspirations for greater 
regional autonomy are strong. 

— Develop an aura of legitimacy through some combination 
of traditional, charismatic , and legal-rational con- 
siderations. The shortlived Ioannidis regime in 
Greece was particularly deficient in this regard. 

— Establish stablt political institutions ( i.e.. organizations 
and procedures wiich are both effective and valued in their 
own right). The importance of this task is sometimes 
obscured by the personal skill and stature of 
leaders like Tito and Franco. Nevertheless, in the 
absence of political institutions capable of accom- 
modating conflicting societal interests and of 
mediating inter-elite disputes, a society will retain 
strong praetorian tendencies. And this, in turn, will 
increase the chances of popular alienation, more 
frequent resort to repression and violence, and 
bitterly contested succession. 

At the minimum, effective political authority — the 
power to promote and, when necessary, to guide basic 
societal change— requires (1) the consent (or at least 
passive acceptance) of most of the governed and (2) 
the supp 'rt of those institutions which, individually or 
collectively, have been entrusted with a virtual 
monopoly over the means of coercive force. The first is 
in large part a function of political organization and 
legitimacy. The second is basically a question of sub- 
ordinating the armed forces and paramilitary police to 
government direction. Both arc characteristic features 
of stable democracies and totalitarian dictatorships. 
By extension, they are critical to the performance and 
prospects of an authoritarian regime as well. 

In practice, the form, general orientation, effec- 
tiver. ss, and stability of any given authoritarian 
icgime are conditioned by the interplay of a host of in- 
ternal and external variables. But even though the mix 
of operative factors is different in every case, thc~e are 
certain general problem areas bearing on the question 
of effective political authority that arc common to all. 
Hence it is possible to gauge the outlook for a par- 
ticular authoritarian government on the basis of its 

— Rationalize and increase (he competency of the 
governmental bureaucracy. This is essential because the 
administrative apparatus not only plays a major 
role in determining economic performance, itself a 
key factor affecting domestic harmony, but also 
substitutes for political action as the primary 
means for assuring social order and justice. In 
Spain, for example, bureaucratic shortcomings 
have undercut efforts to use a combination of social 
welfare programs, paternalistic labor laws, and 
elaborate grievance procedures to mute demands 
for politically independent trade unions. 

— (. o-opt or neutralize potential challengers at an early 
stage — particularly those who are members of, or allied 
ivith, dissident factions within the military establishment . 
/Vs amply illustrated by the c> ocrience of most 
authoritarian regimes in Southern Europe djring 
the past fifteen years alone, the conflict-oriented 
dynamics of limited pluralism generate a special 
need in this regard. They also require development 
of a parallel capacity to defuse potentially conten- 
tious domestic and foreign policy issues through a 
flexible mix of repression, compromise, and diver- 
sion — lest these issues polarize the society and 



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thus deprive thv_ regime of much of its room for ma- 
neuver and base of support. 

Although this list of chores seems formidable, weak 
performance in one or another field is often at least 
temporarily offset by such things rs rising living stan- 
dards or charismatic leadership. Indeed, the record 
shows that under certain circumstances, 
authoritarianism can be a fairly stable and effective 
form of rule over comparatively long periods of 
time even in states that have reached a complex and 
demanding middle stage of social and economic 

Ac i't rtheless , the internal ’^alanees and trade-off * 
nfxiti n'hith the \Ht,ew if n/teraUnn and 'taf>il;t\ >>t 
aiith’iritanan rnf, d* fiend are ea\il\ nf>\»t. lienee, 
most authoritarian regimes are } rone to recurrent 
crisis and resort to political violeiv e (both govern- 
ment-sponsorecl and oppositionist). Sometimes such 
tur bulenc e serves as a catalyst for evolutionary hange 
toward more efficient and possibly more democratic 
government. More often it results in paralysis and 
the (‘mergence of still another ineffective authoritar- 
ian regime. 

Another dear systemic weakness stems from the 
fac t that, unlike representative democracy, author- 
itarianism has no built-in mechanism lor orderh 
political succession, finis eadi authoritarian regime 
must devise its own. a requirement which adds ur- 
gency to the need to legitimize and institutionalize 
its rule. Personal dictatorships are particularly vul- 
nerable m si c ccssjnn difficulties. Kven if. like franco 
and I ito. the supreme ruler makes elaborate arrange- 
ments for succession, including constitutional pro- 
visions lor the division ol his offices and powers, the 
basic components of this new system are |jkei\ to lie 
dormant and untested until alter he has actually de- 
parted the scene. Then, in the absence of his stabiliz- 
ing influence, they may prove incapable ol function- 
ing .is intended 


Although the fact that both the conditions which 
favor authoritarian rule and the dynamics of the 
system itself lend to draw the military into po. hies in 

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staler ol rfrvf lupment » au lw ondrlv «Min<-d as signifying a prr . apn.i 
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a major way has been established in previous dU- 
< ussion. some further observations about the c auses 
and consequences of military intervention are clearly 
in order. Specifically, what seems to be the reason for 
the inc reasing ineidenc a of direc t military rule.' Wh\ 
are there such marked variations in the form and di- 
tec lion of the political role jdaved hv the military in 
dillererit countries.’ Are milit.rv regimes inherently 
anv better or- worse than civilian authoritarian 

I he monves w hic h move military men to direct ac - 
tion in the politic al arena are usually comolcx. The 
mix varies according to time arc! place, but almost 
always inc ludes three distinct areas of concern -per- 
sonal. institutional, and societal. Sometimes am- 
bitions. grievances over pay and promotion, or un- 
easiness over polic ics or trends which appear to 
threaten the perquisites and power ol the' military es- 
tablishment clearly predominate. But in a growing 
number of cases, these considerations seem to have 
been stionglv reinforced, if not overshadowed, by fear 
th.a economic or political mismanagement was 
threatening to lead the nation to the brink of disaster. 

I he process of modernization has. j n fact, in- 
creasingly affected both military motives and 
capabilities with respect to direct intervention in 
political affairs. Proliferation of domestic missions 
(c.g.. counterinsurgency, riot control, and civic ac- 
tion!. corresponding c hanges in the c urricula of ad- 
vanced military schools, and the influence of foreign 
ideas and developments have combined to increase 
the level of social awareness within the* military es- 
tablishments of many c ountries -and to generate a 
consensus preservation of national security 
demands prompt and energetic efforts to rcmlve 
pressing economic, social, and political problems. 
Par. ’./el development, however gradual, of new 
managerial skills and bureaucratic resources has 
tended to inc reuse the- confidence ol military leaders in 
their unique ability to analyze and cope with their 
country s ills. Not surprisingly, the (‘mergence* ol this 
new breed of s< Idier-tca hnocrut has been accom- 
panied by a dtstinc t trend toward: (I) military in- 
terventions which are institutional rather than per- 
sonalism in nature, and (2> both longer and morefre- 
qu ut intei hides of direct military rule*. 

Nevertheless, no national military es- 
tablishment no matter what its d/e or degree of 
professionalization ■■ is .1 monolithic institution. In 



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fact, with few exceptions, each tends to reflect the 
currents and divisions affecting the country at large. 
Thus, while it is possible to catalog the conditions 
which invite military intervention, the form and direc- 
tion that such intervention takes, in any given case, 
will depend on which military faction seizes the ini- 
tiative and which domestic allies it chooses to court 
or support. 

Although the effectiveness of each military regime 
must be assessed on a casc-by-case basis, aggregate 
data analysis suggests that, in the short to medium 
term at least, it makes little difference per se whether 
soldiers or civilians hold the reins of power. It seems 
that military regimes tend to impose more restrictions 
on political activity, achieve greater success in 
promoting economic growth in very poor countries, 
and do less to develop primary education than their 
authoritarian civilian counterparts. (Contrary to pop- 
ular belief, non-military authoritarian regimes tend to 
spend more on defense.) Apart from these findings, 
the differences in overall economic and political per- 
formance appear to be negligible. 10 

As a long-term proposition (i.e., anything over five 
years), however, direct military rule has a propensity 
to suffer from a number of potentially serious 
weaknesses, including: (1) inadequate political in- 
stitutionalization; (2) a lack of compensating 
charismatic leadership; and (3) increasing fac- 
tionalism within the military establishment itself. The 
ill-fated Papadopoulos regime in Greece provides a 
case in point. 

But even though these profession-related short- 
comings are in time likely to afflict any predominantly 
military regime, there is an offsetting tendency for 
civil-military distinctions to become blurred under 
authoritarian rule. Most military regimes co-opt a 
large number of civilians into key posts. Moreover, 
soldier politicians are soon confronted with a number 
of problems — including, ironically enough, the need 
to insure continued subordination of the armed forces 
to political authority — which both limit their options 
and tend to have an erosive effect on their old in- 
stitutional loyalties and ties. Franco Spain provides a 
clear example of the civilianization of what was ini- 
tially a r.vlitary dictatorship. 

"’Based on unpublished papers presented at the 1974 Annual 
Meeting of the American Political Science Association. 


Not since the earliest phases of the Cold War has 
the political future of the whole u soft underbelly’ 1 of 
Europe seemed so uncertain. Authoritarian Spain and 
Yugoslavia both face potentially serious succession 
problems. Portuguese efforts to establish democratic 
rule have already encountered formidable obstacles. 
Although off to a promising start, Greek efforts to the 
same end bode well to run into similar difficulties over 
time. For its part, Italian democracy seems shakier 
than ever. And given the cumulatively destabilizing 
impact of recent events on Turkey’s political scene, it 
would seem wise not to bet too heavily on the 
longevity of that country’s latest experiment with 

Just how serious the potential ramifications of such 
instability are — including the degree and significance 
of the “leftist threat” to NATO interests— must of 
course, be determined through casc-by-case analysis 
in which due account is taken of all significant inter- 
nal and external variables. No such ambitious under- 
taking is attempted here. Rather, it is the purpose of 
the brief country assessments in this section to under- 
score the persistence of authoritarian traditions and 
imperatives in Southern Europe and to indicate how 
these arc likely to influence the future course of events 
in the countries concerned. 

The Problems of Authoritarian Succession: 
Spain and Yugoslavia 

Franco has been political master of Spain since 
1939, Tito of Yugoslavia since 1945. Both preside over 
fragmented societies with strong authoritarian 
traditions. Now in their eighties, both have 
made — and have partially implemented— elaborate 
arrangements for the passage of political power to 
their heirs. And both have blithely short-circuited 
these arrangements whenever some key subordinate 
or interest group seemed to step out of line. 

Spain M 

In some ways, Spanish political problems are the 
easier to isolate and analyze. For one thing, despite 

"The brief Spanish country assessment presented here constitutes an 
abridged and updated version of OPR's The Spanish Succession: Strains 
in the Post- Franca Authoritarian System y November 1974. That paper 
was followed by a more extensive analysis of the Spanish scene in 
OPR's The Politics of Uncertainty: Spain Prepares for the Post-Franco Era , 
February 1975. 








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troublesome regional frictions and disparities, Spain’s 
population is culturally and ethnically more homo- 
geneous than Yugoslavia’s. For another, Franco’s 
system of rule is conceptually simpler than Titoism. It 
is neither revolutionary in nature nor burdened by an 
elaborate guiding ideology. Contrary to Yugoslav 
practice, it presupposes maintenance of relatively low 
levels of popular political mobilization and con- 
sciousness. Partly for these reasons, and partly 
because the spectre of foreign pressures and interven- 
tion has not — or at least not since 1950 — loomed so 
large in Madrid’s domestic policy calculations, the 
post-World War II evolution of authoritarian rule in 
Spain has been far less erratic than in Yugoslavia. 

For over 30 years, Franco has managed to (1 ) main- 
tain the unswerving loyalty of the Spanish military es- 
tablishment, (2) sustain and dominate a governing 
coalition of basically conservative hut otherwise quite 
disparate elites, (3) neutralize his most dangerous 
domestic foes, and (4) retain the positive — if 
passive — acceptance of the majority of his 
countrymen. Moreover, although political inhibitions 
born of memories of bloody civil war have faded, 
Spain’s strong economic performance during the 
1960’s and early 1970’s has given more people a 
genuine — if fragile — stake in Franco’s system than 
ever before. 12 

Nevertheless, Franco has failed to establish the 
tried and trusted political institutions needed to 
perpetuate his system once he has left the scene. Of all 
the institutions he has created, only the cabinet has 
developed any vitality. The rest have simply lain dor- 
mant pending the succession or have been discredited 
as compliant appendages of dictatorial rule. 

In fact, despite Madrid’s willingness to 
countenance a few mildly liberalizing reforms, 
Spanish political development has simply not kept 
pace with the changes in social structure and outlook 
generated by vigorous economic growth and increas- 

'•’Dcspitc substantial infusions of US aid during the 1950’s, Spanish 
economic growth had been impeded — and was ultimately halted 
altogether — by highly autarchic policies born of early Fascist inspira- 
tion and hardened by necessity during a decade of isolation. In 1959, 
however, with Spanish per capita GNP threatening to hover indefinitely 
below $500, technocratic elements persuaded Franco to adopt a sweep- 
ing and outward-looking program of economic reform. -The results were 
dramatic. Spain quickly achieved (and, with the exception of a tem- 
porary showdown in 1970-1971, has until recently maintained) one of 
the highest growth rates in Europe. By the beginning of 1974, per capita 
GNP had soared to $1,750. 

ing exposure to foreign influences. As a result, Fran- 
co’s once finely tuned system has been thrown out of 
kilter — as evidenced by mounting labor unrest, in- 
creasing polarization of the political scene.* along 
liberal and conservative lines, and renewed agitation 
for Basque and Catalonian autonomy. n 

By and large, Franco’s personal authority and 
prestige have served to offset this growing imbalance. 
But now, in a climate further unsettled both by 
worldwide economic strains and by recent events in 
Portugal, Spanish politics arc threatening to reacquire 
a praetorian character. And while Franco’s system is 
not yet beyond salvation, the ability of his successors 
to halt its erosion is likely to be significantly impaired 
by the complexity of the largely untested governmen- 
tal structure they will inherit. 

Not only will the title of Caudillo and the extraor- 
dinary constitutional powers which render Franco 
“responsible only to God and history” die with him, 
but the checks and balances he has built into his 
succession arrangements provide ample ammunition 
for a multi-facctcd power struggle once he is gone. 
Theoretically, Franco’s designee for furure King, 
37-year old Prince Juan Carlos de Borbon, will oc- 
cupy the key positions — Chief of State, Generalissimo 
of the Armed Forces, and Chief of the National 
Movement (an organization which some years ago 
superseded the Falangc Espanola Tradicionalista as 
Spain’s sole legal political “party”). But the Prime 
Minister will control the government machinery, and 
either he or the minister concerned will have to 
approve every decision taken by the King as Chief of 
State. Moreover, although Juan Carlos will be legally 
empowered to resolve disputes between the cabinet, 
the Cortes (legislature), and the judiciary, Franco’s 
role of supreme arbiter will have passed elsewhere — to 
the previously somnolent Council of the Realm. 14 

"The terms conservative and libera! take on distinctive meanings 
when applied to Spanish politics. Far from simply evincing a cautious 
attitude toward change, Spanish conservatives feel uncomfortable with 
Francos modest political reforms (aftertura) and would resist, by force 
if necessary, any significant shift in the balance of political power 
toward populism. 'Thus, the whole political spectrum is skewed to 
the right, and many Spaniards who might be classified as liberals 
by outside observers would be considered centrists in a more 
democratic society. 

M 'I*hc Council of the Realm has 17 members: 7 ex officio (the Presi- 
dent of the Cortes , the senior prelate among the members of the 
Car Its, the senior military officer on active duty, the Chief of the 
High General Staff, and the Presidents of the Supreme Court, 
Council of State, and Institute of Spain) and 10 elected from among 
the groups represented in the Cortes. 



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This last is a grave responsibility to place <;:i a 
collegiate body composed of representatives of dis- 
parate groups. In fact, given the growing rift between 
liberal and conservative forces in Spain, Franco’s 
whole succession scheme could prove close to un- 
workable. 'Flu* projected diffusion of effective political 
power is not only likely to widen existing cracks in 
Spain's governing coalition, but initially, at least, it 
promises to lend disproportionate advantage to the 
political right wing. 

rims, despite the fact that Juan Carlos and Prime 
Minister Carlos Arias — who is expected to retain his 
present post for at least a few months after Franco's 
departure — both favor further social and political 
reforms, they may simply lack the clout to implement 
controversial change. Moreover, should the two for 
any reason come to an early parting of the ways, Juan 
Carlos could easily end up with a Prime Minister less 
amenable to reform. Of the half dozen men currently 
considered to be leading contenders for the job, only 
one, Manuel Fraga Iribarne, seems to be as interested 
as the present Prime Minister in liberalizing the 

Much, of course, will depend on how Spain’s prin- 
cipal political actors interpret and execute their new 
roles once Franco leaves the scene. But unless the in- 
crca singly evident failure of Portugal’s 
recently-launched attempt at democratization greatly 
discourages Spain’s evermore numerous proponents 
of liberalizing change, any prolonged stalemate over 
the pace of reform will exacerbate the polarization of 
Spanish society. In the absence of healthy political in- 
stitutions, Franco’s successors will then be hard 
pressed to contain cither inter-elite disputes or grow- 
ing popular discontent. Most importantly, perhaps, 
they will lack a strong and broadly based supportive 
political party capable of co-opting moderate op- 
position leaders and of giving their views some 
representation in the Cortes and top advisory councils. 
(In their present configuration, neither the introverted 
and elitist National Movement nor any of Spain’s 
newly-authorized and still embryonic “political 
associations” arc equipped for this role.) Currently 
threatening economic problems could easily com- 
pound these wocs. ls And if domestic turbulence 

"Even under the best of conditions, Madrid might find it difficult to 
satisfy popular appetites whetted by a decade of rising living standards. 
As it is. Spain's economic prospects have recently been clouded by in- 
llationary pressures, the increased cost of petroleum, and the general 
deterioration of the economic picture in Europe. The last has already 
found reflection in shrinking earnings from Spain’s important tourist in- 
dustry and in a decline in job opportunities for-— and hard currency 
remittances from — nearly one million Spanish emigrant workers. 

reaches serious proportions, one or another faction of 
Spain’s long quiescent military establishment can be 
expected to emerge from the political shadows and 
attempt to impose its own solution. 

In such an event, no duplication of recent events in 
Portugal would be likely — at least not over the next 
several years. Although a few younger officers un- 
doubtedly secretly sympathize with the goals and 
behavior of their militant contemporaries in Lisbon, 
the Spanish military establishment — untroubled by 
frustrations born of seemingly pointless and endless 
colonial wars — remains, on balance, fundamentally 
loyal to Franco and his system. It is, however, divided 
over how much political reform is desirable in the 
post -Franco era. It is also divided over the question of 
what political role the armed forces should play. 

A small but growing liberal minority, incorporating 
officers of all ages and ranks, favors faster and more 
meaningful political and social reforms — an objective 
these officers recognize might at some point oblige the 
military to inject itself directly into the policy-making 
process. At the other end of the spectrum, a somewhat 
more outspoken group opposes any relaxation of 
authoritarian rule and vigorously maintains that the 
military should and must assume active responsibility 
for Spain’s political future. 'Flic rest of the Spanish of- 
ficer corps, including a majority of its ambitious but 
economically insecure junior members, would seem to 
prefer to avoid a more active political role and would 
probably support any regime in Madrid as long as it 
seemed reasonably capable of maintaining order, 
preserved the essential features of Franco’s system, 
and did not threaten military prerogatives. 

But whatever their other differences, it is clear that 
most Spanish officers agree that the military has the 
right and duty to intervene in the event of a serious 
and prolonged breakdown of domestic order. And 
since the direction and duration of such intervention 
would depend on which factional grouping seized the 
initiative and the sources of its civilian support, a 
relatively small shift in the current balance of forces 
within the military establishment could significantly 
affect Spanish political fortunes in the decade ahead. 

All told, Spanish circumstances and traditions still 
favor some form of authoritarian rule. But while 
Spanish society has yet to develop the preconditions 
for stable democracy, it has just clearly outgrown the 
limits of the sort of rigid dictatorship that hardline 
conservative elements might seek to impose. In any 
event, the outlook is for a lengthy period of instability 



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caused by contention not only between the forces for 
and against liberalizing change, but among the 
different power elements in Franco's succession 
scheme as well. 

This potential for long term instability is a matter 
for legitimate concern for the West. At worst, chronic 
domestic turbulence could in time give rise to a 
radical dictatorship of either the left or right-— even- 
tualities which, each in its own way, would pose 
serious problems for NATO. Short of this, the in- 
security of its domestic position might prompt an 
otherwise moderate and instinctively pro-Western 
government in Madrid to adopt an assertive 
nationalism which might prejudice U.S. interests with 
respect to basing rights, trade promotion, private in- 
vestment, and the whole issue of Gibraltar and the 
Gibraltar Straits. 


Spain’s troubles pale beside those of Yugoslavia. 
The latter’s survival as a multinational state has, in 
fact, been one of the minor miracles of our times, liver 
since 1918, when their country was established on the 
ruins of the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires, the 
Yugoslavs have been struggling to modernize their 
economy, to protect themselves against the 
hegemonistie or irredentist aspirations of outside 
powers, and most importantly, to forge a united 
nation out of peoples previously separated and set 
against each other by geography, historical circum- 
stance, and cultural influence. In none of these 
endeavors, particularly the last, have they been wholly 

Indeed, the havoc wrought by the deep-seated an- 
tagonisms which divide Yugoslavia’s constituent 
nationalities has been formidable. w> They doomed 

" Many of these antaijonisins have their roots in the ages-old division 
of the Balkans Between the Latin Catholic West and the Creek 
( )rthodox Last. C )thers grew out of the five centuries or Turkish rule suf- 
fered by the forebears of the citizens of southern and central Yugoslavia 
following the defeat of the Serbs at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. Indeed, 
despite the common Slavic origin of most of its citizens, Yugoslavia's 
ethnic terrain is unquestionably the most varied and complex in 

- Five official languages arc employed in the conduct of the country's 
domestic and foreign affairs. 

— A third of its people arc Roman Catholics. Slightly more are of Ser- 
bian Orthodox persuasion. One in eight is a Muslim. 

— Approximately *10 percent of its 21 million inhabitants arc Serbs. 22 
percent arc Croats, 9 portent arc Slovenes, 6 percent arc 
Macedonians, 2.3 percent arc Montenegrins, 6.5 percent arc of Alba- 
nian origin, and 3 percent arc ethnically Hungarian. Bosnian 
Muslims (about 8.5 percent) and numerous lesser nationality groups 
make up the remainder. 

Belgrade's inilial experiment with democracy, under- 
mined subsequent efforts at centralized authoritarian 
rule, and facilitated the easy victory scored by Ger- 
man invasion forces in early 1 9*11. A lew months later 
they flared into a bloody civil war which sometimes 
obscured an otherwise magnilieant resistance effort, 
took over 700, ()()() lives, and paved the way for the es- 
tablishment of a post-war Stalinist-stvle Communist 
regime under Josip Broz Tito. Today, reinforced by 
growing disparities in regional levels of well-being, 
these antagonisms still lie at the heart of most of 
Yugoslavia's political and social problems and not a 
few of the economic ones as well. 

Faced with the need to develop wider domestic and 
international support in the wake of Yugoslavia's ex- 
pulsion from the Soviet Bloc, Tito cast aside Stalinist 
practices in 1950 and launched his country onto an 
uncharted course toward what might be termed 
pluralistic socialism — a highly sophisticated variant of 
authoritarian rule expressly tailored to local circum- 
stances. Within limits, I ito’s answer to the question 
of how best to deal with regional urges for greater 
autonomy and other particularistic interests has been 
to accommodate them. For example, he has made the 
regular and active participation of a wide variety of 
regional organs, federal bodies, and special interest 
groups (e.g., youth, labor, professional, and 
economic) in the process of government an indispen- 
sable feature of his political system. I le has vigorously 
applied the principle of proportional ethnic represen- 
tation to all key institutions, including, as far as 
possible, the military establishment. And until 
recently, at least, he has presided over a gradual 
decentralization of authority— not only to Yugo- 
slavia's eight constituent republics and provinces, 
but beyond as well to the communes ( 
which now constitute the nation’s basic socio-polit- 
ical units. 

Although Yugoslavia's post- 1 950 evolution has 
been troubled, it demonstrates that authoritarian rule 
can be (I) very flexible and innovative and (2) 
reasonably effective and popular in an extraordinarily 
complex and turbulent environment. It also under- 
scores many of the systemic vulnerabilities of 
authoritarianism, particularly those associated with 
personal istic rule and the inevitable problems of 

Tito’s pragmatic innovations — including the in- 
troduction of what has been termed, for lack of 
precedent, “market socialism" — have made Yugoslav 
society the most open and dynamic in Eastern 




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Europe, Hut, as he recently learned to his dismay, too 
much decentralization of authority and too much 
politicization of the citizenry can he dangerous in such 
a potentially explosive environment. As Belgrade 
eased its grip, ethnic enmities and jealousies became 
inextricably intertwined in a growing power struggle 
between the proponents of further liberalization and 
well-entrenched conservative elements. 

Matters finally came to a head in late 1971. By 
then, the power of federal authorities to develop and 
enforce the controversial programs needed to stabilize 
the nation’s chronically troubled economy and to 
reverse growing regional economic inequities had all 
but evaporated. No longer held in check by fears of a 
Czechoslovakia-style Soviet invasion, resurgent ethnic 
rivalries were disrupting the work of almost all of the 
country's top political bodies. This included the 
23-man Collective Presidency and 8-man Party Ex- 
ecutive Bureau that Tito-- determined to insure that 
no one man or ethnic group would dominate the 
political scene after his departure — had recently es- 
tablished as the key elements in his blueprint for 
succession. The Croats were behaving in a particular- 
ly obstreperous fashion. For its part, the League of 
Communists of Yugoslavia (LCY), long relegated to a 
guiding rather than a commanding role, had 
degenerated into something approaching a confedera- 
tion of nine virtually autonomous party organizations 
(eight of them regionally-based, the ninth geared to 
the military establishment). In short, Yugoslavia was 
in the throes of its worst political crisis since Tito 
came to power. 

Tito had simply let too much authority slip away 
from Belgrade. Like Franco, he had failed to establish 
tried and trusted political institutions that could func- 
tion effectively without his intercession — albeit his 
failure on this score was attributable to too much 
change and innovation rather than too little. 
Moreover, he had misjudged in his belief that he could 
tame maverick regional leaders by co-opting them 
into the collective bodies destined to inherit his enor- 
mous powers. 

Tito had not, however, made the mistake of un- 
derestimating the potential importance of the military 
factor in Yugoslavia’s domestic equation. In fact, he 
had begun to revamp the country’s traditionally aloof 
military establishment and to draw it into the 
mainstream of domestic politics as a unifying force 
some three years before the crisis finally broke. 

Although far from untouched by the centrifugal 
forces affecting the society at large, the Yugoslav 
military establishment (unlike the LCY) was still a 
genuinely national institution in 1971. Moreover, 
Yugoslavia’s military leaders were not only apprehen- 
sive about what they perceived as anarchical trends 
but fearful that the fact that the country’s 
recently-established paramilitary defense forces had 
been placed under local civilian control might presage 
a potentially disastrous decentralization of the regular 
armed forces as well. Thus they ' ere, for the most 
part, more than ready to back any corrective action 
that Tito chose to take. 

Confronted with the continuing inability of central 
Party and government organs to rein in the blatantly 
chauvinistic leadership of Croatia, Tito’s patience 
finally ran out in December 1971. With the active and 
explicit support of senior military leaders, he 
short-circuited the political superstructure he had 
created and moved to set things straight in a manner 
reminiscent of earlier times. 

Although bloodless, the shake-up was Draconian 
by post-war Yugoslav standards. It took nearly three 
years for the dust to settle. When it did, hundreds of 
functionaries throughout the country had lost their 
jobs. Some ten percent of those individuals who had 
been carried on LCY membership rolls in 1971 had 
been expelled or otherwise “selected out.” The Party 
itself had been recentralized, and its leading role had 
at least in theory been restored. The nation’s 
paramilitary defense forces had been placed under 
firm federal control. The military had been given a 
greater voice in national policy-making councils, and 
active duty generals had been assigned to two key 
federal internal security posts. The cumbersome 
Collective Presidency had been pared from twenty- 
three to nine members. And most of Tito's revised 
political giound rules had been formalized in new 
Party statutes and a new constitution. 

On balance, Titoism has emerged the stronger for 
its ordeal. Although the changes that Tito has made 
since 1971 have not altered the pluralistic— or even, in 
many areas, the basically decentralized — nature of his 
system, they have corrected or attenuated many of the 
flaws and imbalances that had threatened to 
overwhelm it before he even left the scene. 
Hierarchical lines of authority and responsibility have 
been restored and clarified. The nation’s ideological 
and ethnic extremists have at least temporarily been 



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routed, (ihi'ingcs in electoral procedures have narrow- 
ed direct (and potentially highly chauvinistic) popular 
participation in the governmental process to the local 
level, And most importantly, perhaps, the LCY seems 
io be at least part way along the road toward resurrec- 
tion as a national and relatively disciplined in- 
stitution — ‘Without sacrifice of its original (and 
basically healthy) nature as a broadly-based coalition 
of differing interests. 

1 iu s heirs will, in fact, start off in a somewhat 
stronger position than Franco’s. The legitimacy of 
their positions— and of their system of rule— will be 
less in doubt, the loyalty and political role of their 
military colleagues less ambiguous. 1 Moreover, 
renewed uneasiness over Soviet intentions may at least 
temporarily evoke a spirit of unity and cooperation 
that is likely to be lacking in Madrid. 

Hut despite these advantages, the political oudook 
for post-Tito Yugoslavia is even more uncertain than 
that lor post-Franco Spain, For one thing, 
Yugoslavia’s economic problems arc more serious and 
more sensitive to adverse global trends and 
developments. 1 " Its ethnic rivalries promise to persist, 

’ Although it is difficult to judge just how successful 'Tito has been in 
extending the loyalty of the military establishment beyond his person to 
his system, Yugoslavia’s military leaders appear to be satisfied with the 
present situation. While they have willingly assumed a more con- 
spicuous guardianship role, they have so far shown little sign of in- 
dependent political ambitions. Thus, unless the LCY again succumbs 
to ethnic or leadership rivalries, Tito’s successors arc likely to encounter 
little difficulty in subordinating Yugoslavia’s armed forces to civilian 
control. A comprehensive analysis of civil-military relations in 
Yugoslavia is presented in C JFK’s The Political Pole of the Tueuslnv 
Military , March 1975, 

"Rising world prices and the economic slowdown in the West have 
magnified \ ugoslavia s chronic inflation, balance-of-paymcnts, and un- 
employment problems. Partly because of rising import prices— and 
partly because of the huge wage increases secured by Yugoslavia’s 
politically powerful workers— the cost of living index climbed nearly 30 
percent in 1974, compared to 20 percent in 1973. Shrinking export 
markets, heavy dependence on high-priced Western raw materials, and 
a decline in both tourism earnings and remittances from the country’s 
nearly 9(X),0(K) emigrant workers combined to yield a record year-end 
current account deficit of around 5700 million. At the same time, a 
growing influx of workers returning home after losing their jobs abroad 
(some 75.0(H) in 1974 alone) has driven the level of officially registered 
unemployment to about 9 percent of the nonagricultura! workforce for 
the country as a whole — and to more than double that figure in some 
traditionally backward regions. If the austerity program introduced by 
Belgrade in late 1974 (which is already under fire from various 
Republican capitals) fails to alleviate these problems before Tito passes 
from the scene, bis successors arc likely to find ii very difficult to impose 
needed new sacrifices on recalcitrant regional and economic factions. 

providing, inter aha , fertile ground for domestic: and 
foreign intrigue. Its revamped political institutions are 
still weakly rooted. And its overall governmental 
system is enormously complex. 

To complicate matters, Yugoslavia— like Spain — 
will experience a triple succession. Tito’s role as Head 
of State will be assumed by the Collective Presidency, 
with the title and functions of President of the 
Republic rotating annuallv among its eight 
regionally-based members. (Upon Tito’s departure, 
the ninth member— ex officio the President of the 
LCY— will be ineligible to hold the top governmental 
job.) But preponderant power will pass to the LCY 
where it will be shared jointly by Tito’s successor as 
Parly President (as yet to be designated but quite 
possibly Stanc Dolanc who, as a Slovene, would be 
acceptable to most other ethnic groups) and the 
newly-renamed Executive Committee. The latter 
body, recently expanded to 15 members and broad- 
ened by the addition of a military representative, 
is evidently intended to serve as the country’s 
supreme political watchdog and arbiter. Obviously, 
the successful functioning of such a system in the 
absence of a clearly dominant leader will depend upon 
maintenance of a much higher degree of consensus 
than has been attainable in the past. 

All told, therefore, the room for mischance and mis- 
calculation is great. At best, a lengthy period of con- 
siderable instability appears inevitable. At worst, 
deepening political crisis might result in the fragmen- 
tation of Yugoslavia— with the attendant risk of 
renewed Easi-West confrontation. ,v However, given 
the prospect that Yugoslavia's armed forces would 
probably step in before domestic turmoil got com- 
pletely out of hand, the latter contingency appears 
relatively unlikely. 

In one way or another, the Yugoslav succession will impact on 
Washington’s now muted adversary relationship to Moscow. The West 
has a considerable stake in Yugoslavia’s survival as a relatively cohesive 
and fully independent state. For its part, the Kremlin has never recon- 
ciled itself cither to the loss of its one-time client or to Tito’s seemingly 
heretical domestic and foreign policies. The USSR’s response to 
developments in Belgrade is likely to continue to be largely reactive 
(and, for a while, at least, relatively restrained). Nonetheless, the dis- 
closure or Soviet links to the recent efforts of die-hard Yugoslav Stalinists 
to form a rival underground Communist party demonstrates that 
Moscow has left few stones unturned in its search for ways to improve 
its ability to influence what happens in Yugoslavia once Tito departs 
the scene. Under most circumstances, then, the greater the difficulties 
that Tito’s heirs encounter, the greater the temptation will be for the 
Kremlin to meddle actively in Yugoslavia’s internal affairs— and the 
greater the chance of serious strains in East-West relations. 



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In any event, the pressures (both internal and, quite 
possibly, from Moscow) on Tito’s heirs to move 
toward a more restrictive form of authoritarian rule 
will undoubtedly be strong. Just how much tightening 
up may actually ensue is open to question. But even if 
Yugoslavia's new leaders succeed in fending off these 
pressures, it will probably be some time before they 
feel secure enough to risk a new round of political 
liberalization. And the same defensive considerations 
are likely to dictate retention of the essential features 
(but not necessarily the flamboyancy) of Yugoslavia’s 
current foreign policy course. 

Opening Pandora's Box: °ortugal and Greece 

With the collapse of the Caetano and Ioannidis 
regimes — the former from an audacious nudge ad- 
ministered by a handful of disgruntled junior officers 
in April 1974, the lattei of its own weight some three 
months later — Lisbon and Athens have set about the 
difficult and potentially risky task of establishing 
democratic rule. For reasons which will be elaborated 
below, Portuguese prospects for success arc clearly the 
poorer. But if past experience is any guide, the 
chances that representative government will finally 
take firm root on the rocky shores of the Aegean arc 
not so good either. Ever since they won their in- 
dependence from Turkey in 1829, the Greeks have 
been alternating between anarchical binges and 
authoritarian cures. And there is little reason to 
believe that the cycle has now been broken. 


Twentieth century authoritarianism emerged in 
Portugal in much the same way that it did in 
Spain — except that the Portuguese were spared 
Spain’s chaotic and bloody interregnum between 
floundering military dictatorship arid stable civilian 
rule. Not that the military leaders who put an end to 
Portugal’s brief stab at democracy in 1926 proved any 
more capable of coping with the problems associated 
with modernizing change in a backward society than 
the Spanish officers who had seized power in Madrid 
some three years earlier. But Portugal’s generals 
found someone who was up to this task, a strong-will- 
ed professor of economics named Antonio de Oliviera 
Salazar, and they more or less gratefully shifted the 
burden of rule to his shoulders before disaster struck. 

Salazar, who was named Prime Minister in 1932, 
fashioned his country into a corporatist, single-party, 
authoritarian state — a solution compatible with its 
prevailing circumstances and traditions. Although 
theoretically subordinate to the President of his Estado 
Novo (New State), he thoroughly dominated the Por- 
tuguese political scene until incapacitated by a stroke 
in 1968. Like Franco, he brought his country political 
stability and, initially at least, economic advance. 20 
But unlike Franco, his strategy and tactics changed 
little over time. As a result, his domestic institutions 
and policies — and his approach to Portugal’s colonial 
problems — became increasingly anachronistic. 

Salazar’s successor as Prime Minister, Marcello 
Gaetano, sought to rectify this situation. But he lacked 
either the personal or constitutional authority to over- 
come the opposition of President Americo Thomaz 
(an admiral who had been Portugal’s nominal Head 
of State since 1958) and other ultra-conservative 
elements. Thus, far from serving their intended pur- 
pose, Gaetano’s halting efforts at political and 
economic reform and at introducing some flexibility 
into Lisbon's colonial stance helped to surface 
long-extant undercurrents of discontent within almost 
all politically relevant sectors of Portuguese 
society — including the military establishment. 

Given what seemed to be the balance of forces in 
Portugal in early 1974, Caetano ’s downfall would 
have been less surprising had it been at the hands of 
cither ultra-conservatives or disillusioned moderates. 
That it was not, that it was in fact engineered by a few 
youthful proponents of radical societal reforms, il- 
lustrates how critical a role a numerically small but 
determined group of officers can play within a divided 
and relatively apathetic military establishment. 
Within months, what apparently began in mid-1973 
as an extemporaneous secret conclave focused on 
irksome professional grievances had developed into a 
full-fledged conspiratorial organization — the Armed 
Forces Movement (AFM)— dedicated to an early 
political settlement of Portugal’s colonial wars abroad 
and to the establishment of “democratic” rule at 

•’"Salazars conservative economic policies brought Portugal un- 
precedented fiscal stability but only a modest, and in the end declining, 
rate of growth. It has been said that in his fear that he might run the 
economy onto the rocks, he ran it onto the sands instead. Although 
Caetano did what he could to gel thingi moving again, Portugal’s per 
capita GNP in early 1974 (SI, 140) was mW the lowest in Western 



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Relatively little is known about the internal 
dynamics of the AFM — either before or after the es- 
sentially bloodless coup of April 1974. At the time, the 
Movement probably numbered no more than two or 
three hundred officers, a tiny fraction of the tri-service 
officer corps. (However, most other officers readily 
accepted the overthrow of the Gaetano regime, and 
apparently many of these have since been co-opted 
into the AFM.) As is still the case today, the 
organization’s membership spanned the political 
spectrum from moderates to radical leftists — with in- 
dividuals of the latter persuasion in the definite 
minority. But since the radicals had been the prime 
movers behind the conspiracy, they emerged from the 
coup with disproportionately strong representation in 
the AFM ’s original top leadership council (the 
Political Coordinating Commission). 

Apart Iron i the AFM’s general and vaguely defined 
commitment to democracy and socio-economic 
reform, there was little initial consensus on longer- 
term objectives. Moreover, most of the country’s new 
leaders were political neophytes. One of their first 
mistakes, perhaps, was establishing a definite 12-18 
month timetable for the transition process — a step 
which showed little appreciation of formidable 
societal obstacles to stable and effective representative 
government (e.g., strong authoritarian and patronal 
traditions, the sharp dichotomy between the urban 
and rural sectors of the population, and the absence of 
a large middle class). 

In any event, the determination of the 
predominantly left-wing AFM leadership to force a 
hasty and indiscriminate dismantling of the old 
order— and to dictate the shape of the new— augured 
ill for any early and reasonably orderly passage to 
democratic rule. On one hand, the radicals naive and 
cavalier approach to political and societal change 
sparked an unnecessarily sharp and destabilizing es- 
calation of popular demands and expectations. On the 
other, it made an intense and potentially lengthy 
post-coup power struggle with numerically superior 
moderate and conservative forces inevitable. 

Over the past ten months, this struggle has passed 
through a scries of distinct phases. Successive crises 
have brought marked shifts in actors, alignments, and 
issues. In the process, the effective balance of forces in 
Lisbon has become progressively less representative of 

the nation at large. The political and economic chaos 
born of the sudden collapse of old institutions has 
been compounded by ambiguous, inconsistent, and 
constantly changing new ground rules.* 11 And the Por- 
tuguese Communist Party (PGP) has been afforded 
repeated opportunities to strengthen and consolidate 
its position. 

At first, AFM leaders sought * control things from 
behind the scenes, refusing— in disregard of Por- 
tugal’s hierarchical traditions — to institutionalize 
their position in either the political or military pecking 
order. However, the abnormality of their role, and the 
pressure they brought to bear for rapid 
decolonization, soon brought them into conflict with 
Genera) Spinola, the highly popular but basically con- 
servative critic of the old regime whom the AFM it sell 
had tapped to serve as Provisional President and head 
of the seven-man “Junta of National Salvation.” 

The advantage seemed to lie with Spinola. His sup- 
porters held sway in the Junta. The composition of the 
other two top governmental bodies, the Council of 
State (a partly civilian executive organ with the Junta 
as its nucleus) and the coalition style cabinet (Coun- 
cil of Ministers), was relatively balanced between 
centrists and leftists. T he civilian Prime Minister was 
in general sympathy with Spinola’s views. AnJ while 
Spinola's old friend, Armed Forces Chief of Staff 
Costa Gomes, chose to play the role of mediator, his 
reputation as a political moderate suggested that the 
President could count on his support in a crunch. 

Nevertheless, Spinola overplayed his hand in 
mid-July by attempting to alter the AFMs electoral 
timetable to his advantage. The move was actively op- 
posed not only by the AFM vn ma\st\ but by virtually 

’ Sint i* ilu* roup, the Portuguese economy has been shaken by labor 
militancy. popular unrest, and general uncertainty. These woes have 
been compounded by the worsening economic picture in Kuropc as a 
whole. As a result, industrial production, retail sales, and private invest- 
ment have declined and receipts from tourism and worker's remittances 
are down. Moreover, the country's al rming pre-coup inllation rate (23 
percent) has edited upward, and returning soldiers and settler* Irom 
Alrit a (as well as emigre laborers from Western Kurope) have swelled 
the ranks of die unemployed. These difficulties have been particularly 
imsrttlini* because, in their enthusiasm. Portugals' new leade-s 
promised almost everything from higher wages and expanded social 
security hrmfits to reduced inllation and lower unemployment. And 
ever since, these men have been faced with the difficult and politically 
sensitive task of choosing between their conflicting commitments. 



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the entire political left as well. When the dust settled, 
AFM leaders held four cabinet posts (including that 
of Prime Minister), command of the Lisbon Military 
District, and operational control of a new military in- 
ternal security force— the Continental Operations 
Command (COPCON). 

Among other things, the final stages of this skirmish 
underscored the basic contradiction between the 
AFM radicals’ professed commitment to democracy 
and their more revolutionary political, social, and 
economic objectives. Afterwards, the AFM’s 
strengthened grip on the levers of power simply rein- 
forced the radicals’ propensity to ignore any vaunted 
new democratic rights and safeguards that might 
benefit their adversaries. Thus, in late September, 
when Spinola sought to recoup his losses by staging a 
massive rally of moderates and conservatives, the 
worried AFM leadership joined forces with the Com- 
munists to thwart this move by extralegal means. 
Deserted at the height of the crisis by Costa Gomes, 
Spinola resigned two days later with a bitter speech 
warning that Portugal was heading toward chaos and 
“new forms of slavery.” 

Spinola ’s departure marked a major watershed in 
the post-coup course of Portuguese domestic affairs. 
The relatively compliant Costa Gomes was promptly 
elevated to the post of Provisional President; and, 
following a number of other top-level personnel 
changes designed to make the Junta, Council of State, 
and cabinet more responsive to AFM direction, the 
key arena of conflict between radicals and moderates 
shifted to the AFM itself. The principal issues were 
(I) the direction and pace of further reforms, and (2) 
the nature and duration of the AFM’s political role. 
Both generated renewed interest in institutionalizing 
the still amorphous Movement. On one hand, Por- 
tugal’s young military Jacobins now saw creation of a 
formal elitist revolutionary organization as a prere- 
quisite for expansion and perpetuation of their 
political power. On the other, many moderates un- 
doubtedly hoped that institutionalization would 
provide them with the organizational and procedural 
tools they needed to neutralize the radicals. 

The institutional entity that rather swiftly emerged 
bore more than a passing resemblance to classical 
Communist organizational practice — albeit the 
ground rules allowed for freer debate than is generally 

associated with Marxist “democratic centralism.” 22 
Thus, although the broadening of the AFM’s com- 
mand structure and the proliferation of lower level ad- 
visory bodies brought the rift between the left- 
ist-dominated leadership and the predominantly 
moderate rank and file into sharper relief (and 
thereby fueled growing divisions within the leadership 
itself), they did not significantly weaken the radicals’ 
position. The radicals were forced to move slowly, to 
compromise, and occasionally to accept defeat. But 
overall, they succeeded in gradually moving Portugal 
in the direction they desired. 

Indeed, the primal trend in Portuguese politics 
since Spinola’s departure has been the growing subor- 
dination of democracy to revolutionary change in the 
official guiding ethos. As a resuit, Portuguese society 
has become increasingly polarized. An open rift has 
developed in the cabinet between the PCP and its 
sympathizers on the one hand, and the Socialists and 
center-left Popular Democrats on the other. And 
political tolerance — never a prominent Portuguese 
characteristic — has dwindled rapidly. 23 

Incremental movement toward revolutionary 
military rule gave way to a potential quantum jump in 
mid-February 1975 when AFM radicals succeeded in 
securing organizational approval of a scheme whereby 

•"From mid-October 1 974 until mid-March 1975, a 20-man Superior 
Council chaired by Costa Gomes (and including strong radical 
representation) operated something like a politburo and served as the 
primary olTicial channel for bringing AFM influence to bear on every 
facet of the domestic sceac. The Political Coordinating Commission ex- 
ercised the functions of a powerful secretariat, and a consultative 
200-member General Assembly performed the role of a central com- 
mittee. Moving downward, council-assembly organizations were es- 
tablished at all levels of command within each of the armed services. In 
addition, agitprop groups were assigned to most units— and similar 
teams were dispatched to the countryside to “educate” the peasantry as 

•"For example, one of the Portuguese Government’s Iirst moves after 
Spinola resigned was to establish a Convnission for the Extinction of 
fascism headed by the distinctly radical operational boss of COPCON. 
Since then, official hostility toward virtually the entire politic il right 
has, with the enthusiastic cooperation of the PCP, found more and 
more frequent reflection in the public media. Moreover, as 
demonstrated by the repeated failure of forewarned COPCON forces to 
prevent groups of leftist militants from disrupting the activities of Por- 
tugal's few “non-revolutionary” (i.c.. centrist) parties, political violence 
has been tolerated so long as it has been directed against potential 
enemies of the AFM’s envisaged new order. On the other side of the 
coin, traditional fears of the left have resurfaced and hardened. Faith in 
the establishment and in its promises of genuinely representative elec- 
tions has waned. And in this increasingly charged atmosphere, one 
counter-coup has already been attempted. 



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the AFM would continue to guide the Portuguese 
political processes for an indefinite period. 2 ' The of- 
ficial opening date for campaigning for the scheduled 
12 April constituent assembly elections was then post- 
poned until mid-March in order to give AFM 
“negotiating teams” time to jawbone any recalcitrant 
political parties into accepting the projected new 
ground rules. These developments were applauded by 
the Communists, and no wonder. It was just the sort 
of scenario that PCP Chairman Cunhal— faced with 
the likelihood that his party would garner no more 
than 10-20 percent of the vote in any freely-held elec- 
tions— had been advocating all along. 

The PCP has taken full advantage of political dis- 
array — and of its cordial tics with some AFM 
leaders — to bolster its domestic position. But it is still 
far from strong enough to mount a successful 
takeover on its own. Moreover, Party Chairman 
Cunhal, whose grasp of Portuguese realities 
(including the strength of rural conservatism) seems 
to be considerably firmer than that of some AFM 
militants, clearly favors a cautious and basically 
evolutionary route to power — an attitude which ap- 
parently enjoys Moscow’s blessing. Thus a prolonged 
period of revolutionary military rule during which the 
Communists could build their power and influence 
with the assistance (whether calculated or uninten- 
tional) of friendly AFM radicals offers the PCP the 
best of all possible worlds. 

For their part, however, Portugal’s four democratic 
parties of the moderate left and right dug in their heels 
and tried to secure significant revisions in the AFM’s 
plan through hard bargaining. For a moment in early 
March, it seemed that they might succeed. Indeed, 
the sweeping victories scored at that juncture by 
moderate officers in secret balloting for seats on two 
AFM service-level advisory councils raised the 
possibility that the radicals’ hold on the AFM com- 
mand structure might soon be broken as well. But on 

■■'III brier, this plan specified that prior AFM approval or till presiden- 
tial candidates was to be mandatory. The AFM was to have the right to 
name the ministers of defense and economy (and possibly the Prime 
Minister) in any fiiturc constitutionally-formed government. The 
country’s new constitution would have to conform to the AFM program 
that was published shortly after the April 1974 coup. Continued 
military control of the Council of State was to be assured, and that body 
was to be granted legislative powers (presumably against the day when 
the Junta of National Salvation ceased to exist). And no “conservative 
changes in a newly decreed three-year economic plan were to be per- 

11 March, an abortive and incredibly inept coup 
attempt involving a number of Spinola’s sympathizers 
changed matters abruptly. 

Whatever the true story behind it may ultimately 
prove to be, the attempted coup provided the radicals 
with just the boost they needed. They lost no time in 
overriding the AFM’s now dazed and demoralized 
moderates and in securing a virtual carte blanche. 
Under the radicals’ direction, the AFM promptly 
assumed full control of Portuguese political affairs. 
The “February plan” was cast aside, and the next two 
weeks were highlighted by the following 

—The Council of State, the Junta of National 
Salvation, and the AFM’s existing top council were 
abolished and were replaced by a single, 
radical-dominated military ruling body endowed 
with broad executive and legislative powers (the 
28-member Superior Council of the Revolution); 

—Communists and crypto-Communists were given 
greater representation in the cabinet in order to 
make it more “responsive” to the AFM’s reform 

Portuguese banks and insurance companies were 

nationalized, and prompt extension of state control 
to other “basic” sectors of the economy was 

— The constituent assembly elections were post- 
poned until 25 April and three officially registered 
parties (two ultra left groups hostile to the PCP 
plus the center-right Christian Democratic Party) 
were barred from participation — thus reducing the 
field to six radical fringe parties (two of them sub- 
ject to PCP influence), the Communist-dominated 
Portuguese Democratic Movement, the PCP, the 
Socialists, the center-left Popular Democrats and 
Monarchists, and the center-right Social 
Democratic Center Party. 

It would appear that the major elements in the 
radicals’ emerging blueprint for the future are no 
longer open to serious negotiation. Moreover, one of 
the AFM’s most prominent (and most outspoken) 
radical leaders already has publicly declared that the 
party that manages to get the most votes does not 
necessarily represent the best interests of the people. 
Under these circumstances — and given the un- 
representative range of pavty choices to be offered to 



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the voters — constituent assembly elections (if held at 
all) will be virtually meaningless. Unless things 
change greatly in the interim, so will any general elec- 
tions that might follow. Portugal is, in fact, well on the 
way toward establishment of something akin to the 
radical Velasco military regime in Peru. 25 And in the 
Portuguese context, that spells continued, and quite 
possibly growing instability. 

By their latest actions, the AFM radicals have 
placed themselves more squarely than ever on a 
collision course with the centrists and conservatives 
who still make up the bulk of the population and the 
armed forces. Thus, despite the dampening effect of 
the 1 1 March events, organized conspiratorial activity 
is likely to resume before too long. Moreover, if 
political and economic conditions continue to 
deteriorate at their present rate, an increasing number 
of politically moderate Portuguese will probably join 

Of course, the line of march that has now been laid 
down is not irreversible. In fact, the new ground rules 
specify that the recently expanded 240 man assembly 
of the Armed Forces Movement may expel any 
member of the Superior Council of the Revolution by 
as yet undefined voting margins and procedures. But 
just how meaningful this will prove to be in practice is 
open to serious question. Open critics of 
“revolutionary change” now risk purge or worse. For 
their part, the radicals have demonstrated that they 
will not be banished to the political sidelines without a 
fight. And in the event of a showdown, they can 
probably count on the PCP to come to their aid again 
in any way it can. Thus, the chances that AFM 
moderates will be able to gain political control 
without staging a virtual counter-coup appear to be 
relatively poor. 

Moreover, even if it involved little or no bloodshed, 
any successful attempt by cither moderate or conser- 
vative forces to wrest predominant power away from 
the radicals would more than likely result in the im- 
position of another authoritarian regime — at least on 
an interim basis. There would seem to be no feasible 
alternative. For one thing, in an environment where 
the concept of a loyal opposition enjoys so little 
currency, stringent internal security measures would 

- A comprehensive analysis of the Velasco regime is presented in 
OPR s Peru's Stalin I Revolution: hnf dilations and Prospects , January 

be required for quite some time. But more important, 
perhaps, Portugal’s growing economic problems and 
the divisive impact of much of what has happened 
since April 1974 have created a whole series of new 
and potentially intractable obstacles to stable and 
effectual representative government. 

In short, the real question now is not whether Por- 
tugal will end up under some form of authoritarian 
rule in the years just ahead, but what kind of 
authoritarian rule it will be. If it turns out to be a 
regime dominated by either the far left or the far right, 
Portuguese participation in NATO and bilateral 
military arrangements with the US will be adversely 
affected. Quite apart from the other problems it would 
pose for Washington, a far-leftist regime would in all 
likelihood seek to weaken or break these ties. And 
however much an ultra-conservative regime might 
wish to preserve Portugal’s existing alliances, it would 
probably prove as divisive to NATO and generate as 
much popular disapproval within the US as the late 
military dictatorship in Greece. 


Just as Iberian traditions and circumstances have 
favored the persistence of authoritarian rule in Por- 
tugal, geographically induced parochialism and the 
legacy of nearly 400 years of Turkish domination 
have, until now at least, posed virtually insuperable 
obstacles to the establishment of stable and effective 
democratic government in modern Greece. The tur- 
moil, hardships, and misrule suffered under the Turks 
produced a people imbued with predominantly 
egocentric values and veliant for their safety and 
well-being on close family tics or other narrow and 
highly personalistic alliances. And ever since in- 
dependence was achieved, Greek hyper-individualism 
and patronal traditions have found reflection in the 
formation of innumerable small, personalistic, and 
generally short-lived political parties, as well as in a 
propensity for uninhibited political infighting. 

Together with the stresses and strains stemming 
from modernizing change and various untoward ex- 
ternal developments, this state of affairs has resulted 
in both chronic instability and experimentation with 
widely differing forms of rule. In the past 65 years 
alone, Greece has experienced six military coups, 
three attempted coups, one royal assassination, one 
civil war, and three dictatorships — not to mention 
alternating monarchical and republican political 



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systems and countless instances of arbitrary royal in- 
tervention in parliamentary affairs. The average life of 
non-dictatorial Greek governments between 1910 and 
the military coup of April 1967 was less than one year. 
Some lasted only a few days or weeks. 

There was one bright spot in this generally doleful 
record. In sharp contrast to the strife ana chaos which 
marked the opening years of the post-World War II 
period, Greece entered into a decade of relative 
political stability and growing prosperity in 1952 un- 
der a series of popularly-elected conservative 
governments. 26 It was a period also notable for the 
coalescence of most Greek political parties into three 
broad coalitions: Konstantinos Karamanlis’ conser- 
vative National Radical Union (formed in 1956), 
Georgios Papandreou’s moderate Center Union 
(formed in 1961), and the Communist-dominated 
United Democratic Left (formed in 1951, four years 
after the Greek Communist Party itself was out- 

Nonetheless, electoral victories scored by the 
moderates in 1963-64 and accompanying gains by the 
left touched off a period of political turmoil and 
polarization which ultimately spawned the military 
coup of 1967. What happened during the ensuing 
seven years offers scholars a wealth of material for 
studies of the dynamics and potential shortcomings of 
prolonged military rule in a relatively sophisticated 
environment. For the purposes of this paper, however, 
a summary analysis of the Papadopoulos and Ioan- 
nidis regimes will suffice to relate Greek experience to 
the generalizations about authoritarianism and 
militarism set forth in earlier discussion and to set the 
stage for an appraisal of the country’s current efforts 
to restore representative government. 

In view of the fact that the military coup of April 
1967 was basically an institutional affair, two of the 
most notable developments that followed were the 
gradual emergence of Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos 
as the dominant leader v/ithin the ruling junta and the 
accompanying trend toward personalization and 
civilianization of the regime. Indeed, Papadopoulos 
unwittingly foreshadowed events which were to take 

* Because of civil war and governmental instability, post-war 
economic recovery did not really get underway in Greece until 1951. 
Between 1952 and 1963 the country’s output of manufactured goods 
doubled. Its capacity to generate electric power increased threefold. 
Overall economic growt h averaged over 6 percent a year. And per 
capita GNP (calculated in constant 1970 prices) rose from S360 to S670. 

place in a much freer atmosphere some 18 months 
later when, following royal involvement in an abortive 
Navy mutiny, he staged a constitutional plebiscite in 
July 1973 which made Greece a republic for the 
second time in 50 years, accorded wide powers to the 
new presidency, and elevated him from Prime 
Minister to the office of President for a seven-year 

Ironically, Papadopoulos’ subsequent moves 
toward restoration of civilian rule — particularly his 
appointment of a civilian Prime Minister identified 
with the old order, his gestures signalling possible 
relaxation of pressures on the political left, and his 
promise of general elections in 1974— proved to be his 
undoing. On one hand, they were taken as a sign of 
weakness by dissident students, workers, and intellec- 
tuals (and therefore as offering a golden opportunity 
to resume traditionally free-swinging protest ac- 
tivities). On the other, they added a sense of 
“revolution betrayed” to the brief that many conser- 
vative military officer: —including the powerful 
military police chief, Brigadier General Dimitrios 
Ioannidis — had been building against Papadopoulos 
ever since his personal ambitions had become evident. 

The instability generated by these parallel 
developments erupted in crisis in November 1973 
when the Army had to be called in to help subdue 
rioting students and workers in Athens. Considerable 
bloodshed resulted, and the incident furnished loan- 
nidis and his cohorts with a handy excuse to oust 
Papadopoulos. 25X6A 

the relative stability of his regime through 1 972 was at 
least in part attributable to his success in securing and 
maintaining the qualified but nonetheless effective 
acceptance of the bulk of the population. For one 
thing, the respite from governmental paralysis and 
domestic chaos was, initially at least, welcome in 
many quarters. For another, suspension of par- 
ticipatory politics was less disruptive of traditional 
Greek ways of getting things done than is generally 
conceded. The focus of the deeply-ingrained 
patronage system simply shifted away from elected 
representatives to local military commanders and the 
administrative bureaucracy. Moreover, Greece 
benefitted from general West European prosperity 



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throughout Papadopoulos’ tenure, r id the steady rise 
in living standards engendered by continued rapid 
economic growth, liberal consumer credit, and 
various measures aimed at improving the lot of the 
rural population did much to take the sting out of vex- 
ing political restrictions. 2 ' 

ulation, deprived his regime of qualified political and 
administrative talent, weakened the already shaky in- 
stitutions of the post- 1967 political order, forfeited 
what remained of the aura of legitimacy that the 1967 
conspirators had managed to impart to their rule, and 
aggravated factional divisions within the armed 
forces. Moreover, Ioannidis was equally inept in his 
dealings with other nations. Indeed, his adventuristic 
and highly nationalistic foreign policy course had 
begun to pose serious problems for the US well before 
it culminated in the internationally ominous — and for 
Ioannidis, personally calamitous — Cyprus crisis of 
July 1974. 

Ioannidis’ gamble in sponsoring the National 
Guard coup which deposed Cypriot President 
Archbishop Makarios and elevated Nikos Samp- 
son — an ardently pro -enosis 'union of Greece and 
Cyprus) and anti-Turk rightwinger — to power on 15 
July backfired badly. Ankara responded by sending a 
large military force to Cyprus to protect both the 
Turkish Cypriot minority and its own interests, a 
move that threatenee »var with Greece itself. Stunned 
by this turn of events, Greece’s top military com- 
manders first ousted Ioannidis ard then exercised 
their time-honored option of politic withdrawal. 
They consulted with a variety of former politicians 
and, in hopes of forming a civilian government of such 
stature that it would be in a position to secure a 
favorable negotiated settlement of the crisis, offered 

•’The Greek economy prospered during the first five years of the 
Papadopoulos era. Real growth averaged 8.6 percent annually— ex- 
ceeding the commendable record achieved during the 1962-1966 period 
by more than a full percentage point and outdistancing the growth of all 
other West European countries. Domestic prices remained relatively 
stable. Per capita GNP passed the SI, 000 mark in 1970 and reached 
Si. 400 in 1972. The economy began to overheat toward the end of that 
year, however, and while rapid growth continued in 1973, skyrocketing 
prices resulted in a serious trade deficit and a fateful upsurge of popular 

the post of Prime Minister to the seasoned and conser- 
vative Karamanlis. 

Before accepting, Karamanlis — who had been liv- 
ing in self-imposed exile in Paris since 
1964 — demanded and received the promise of a free 
hand. Sworn in as Prime Minister on 24 July, he 
formed a so-called “government of national unity" 
(actually a two-party, center-right coalition of old-line 
politicians and liberal technocrats) and set about con- 
solidating his position vis-a-vis the understandably 
nervous and still predominantly anti-democratic 
military establishment. His strategy included prompt 
restoration of the country's 1952 constitution (except 
for those portions pertaining to monarchy), discreet 
military transfers and retirements, and, most impor- 
tantly, preparations for early elections. 

His need to keep the military at bay and to 
strengthen Athcn's international position were not. 
how^.^., ICiramanlis’ only reasons for seeking a 
prompt popular mandate. U. disenchantment with 
Greece’s pre-coup political order was no less profound 
than that of the military officers who toppled it in 
1967, and he had spent his years in Paris devising 
plans for what he believed would b^ a more effective 
and stable form of representative rule. To implement 
these plans, he needed a firm Parliamentary majority. 
Hence he had to move before unavoidable domestic or 
international difficulties eroded his newly-reborn pop- 

The results of the 17 November 1974 elections 
fulfilled Karamanlis’ fondest hopes. His New 
Democracy Party (essentially a reincarnation of his 
old National Radical Union) garnered about 55 per- 
cent of the vote and, thanks to the intricacies of the 
country’s freshly revised electoral law’, 220 out of 300 
parliamentary seats. Moreover, in according Georgios 
Mavros’ moderate Center Union-New’ Forces another 
20 percent of their votes (and 60 parliamentary scats), 
the Greek electorate had firmly rejected the extremes 
of both left and right. 2 " (Just three weeks later, Gnek 
voters satisfied another major — albeit unspoken — 

Karamanlis’ actions in legalizing Greece's two rival Communist 
parties and announcing the country's withdrawal from NATOs in- 
tegrated military command had stolen much of the left’s old thunder. 
Hie Communist -affiliated United I>eft won only 9 percent of the vote 
and K parliamentary scats. A radical left break-nway group from the 
original Center Union received 13 percent of the vote and 12 seats. For 
its part, the ultra-conservative National Democratic Union ended up 
with 2 percent of the vote and no seats at all. 


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Karamanlis goal by opting for republican rule by 
better than a 2 to 1 majority.) 

Karamanlis waited to unveil his blueprint for the 
future until the new Parliament had met and elected a 
provisional Greek President. Then, on 23 December, 
he presented a draft constitution based on a strong 
Gaullist-style presidency for public and Parliamen- 
tary debate. In its defense, he argued that “Greek 
»ealities” made a powerful executive essential. But 
given the marked resemblance between the political 
system that Karamanlis proposed and General 
Papadopoulos’ abortive plan for perpetuating himself 
in power, it is hardly surprising that left-leaning op- 
positionists promptly characterized the draft charter 
as “totalitarian under a parliamentary mantle.’”’’ 

Karamanlis is, however, in a good position to get 
his way — either through parliamentary approval or 
national referendum. Moreover, if he does, his subse- 
quent election as President is virtually assured. In that 
event, he will take office with solidly democratic 
credentials, and Greece’s period of political transition 
will have been completed in remarkably short com- 
pass. But the prospects for Greek democracy will not 
be much better than in the past. 

For one thing, demoralized right-w'ing military of- 
ficers have already attempted to oust Karamanlis 
once, and they arc likely to try again. For another, 
Greece’s principal political coalitions are still loose 
and personalistic affairs. Unless this situation 
changes, the death, disability, or precipitous retire- 
ment of Karamanlis (now 68 years old) could weil 
result in enough instability and uncertainty to bring 
even a thoroughly purged Greek Arr ; out of the 
barracks once more. 

Equally important, Karamanlis’ political system 
does, as his critics contend, contain the seeds of 
authoritarianism. In fact, he clearly intends to use the 

'"Under Karamanlis' draft charter, Greece's President would he 
elected by a two-thirds majority of Parliament for a five-year term. His 

tensive powers would resemble those held by the King under the 1952 
Constitution. He would have the authority to appoint and dismiss the 
Prime Minister as well as to appoint and dismiss other cabinet 
memfwrs at the Prime Minister’s request. He could also dismiss the en- 
tire government and dissolve Parliament after “consulting" the Council 
of the Republic (a body composed of past Presidents and Prime 
Ministers). Under certain circumstances, he could convene the cabinet 
under his chairmanship or suspend articles of the Constitution. He 
would also have the right *o veto draft laws f which would then have to 
l>e approved by a three-fifths majority of Parliament) and to proclaim 
referenda on crucial national issues. 

autocratic powers that he has written into his draft 
constitution whenever he feels that considerations of 
political efficiency or domestic order so require. And 
given Greek passions and circumstances, that could 
be quite often 

With their ability to influence policy by parliamen- 
tary means so obviously limited, radical elements of 
both the left and right would be likely to take advan- 
tage of periods of political permissiveness to pressure 
the regime through disruptive direct action. 
Moreover, there are any number of issues — including 
serious economic problems, Greece’s double-barreled 
rivalry with Turkey over Cyprus and Aegean 
resources, and the whole fabric of Greek relations with 
NATO and Washington — which could generate 
enough domestic turmoil to justify recourse to ex- 
traordinary executive powers. 10 In theory, these 
deviations from democratic norms would be tem- 
porary. But history suggests that “emergency” 
powers are seldom fully relinquished, particularly in 
countries where the parliamentary and judicial checks 
on the executive arc weak. Thus, authoritarian rule 
could just as easily return to G r eece in increments as 
via another coup. 

In sum, if Greece’s projected Presidential 
government is established under Karamanlis' 
leadership and ground rules, it will be better equipped 
to cope with the nation's problems and idiosyncracies 
than any of its post-war civilian predecessors. But 
given Greek circumstances and the severity of the 
destabilizing pressures that the Athens regime is likely 
to encounter once Karamanlis’ current honevmoon 
with the gcreral populace begins to wane, there will 
still be at least an even chance that Greece will be 
back urdcr *omc form of authoritarian rule within the 
next 5 to 10 years. The domestic and international im- 
plications of such a development would, of course, 

“ Hie austerity program inaugurated by Ioannidis shortly after he 
seized power was showing results by mid-1974. Karamanlis thus in- 
herited an economy marked by an industrial slowdown, a declining but 
not insignificant inflation rate (12 percent), and an improving though 
still serious balance of payments situation. Since then, the lingering 
effec ts of the Cyprus crisis, the impact of sharply higher outlays for oil 
imports, and the continued deterioration of the economic scene in 
Luropc as a whole have deef>enrd the Greek recession. These problems 
will continue to affec t the Greek economy in the year ahead, and »he 
knottiest problem faring Athens will be how to stimulate economic 
recovery without jeopardizing the gains previously made on the infla- 
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depend upon what constellation of forces held 
predominant power. 

Democratic Institutions in Jeopardy: Italy and 

As direct heirs of two great rival spiritual and tem- 
poral empires, Italy and Turkey could hardly be more 
different culturally. Moreover, the contrast is just ' > 
sharp in the economic field. With a per capita GNP of 
over $2,500 (i.e., nearly as high as that of Great 
Britain), Italy has passed well beyond the mid-stage 
of industrial development. In fact, were it not for the 
vast economic disparity between the northern and 
southern parts of the country, Italy could properly be 
classified as an industrially advanced state. Turkey, 
on the other hand, is still primarily an agrarian 
nation, and its per capita GNP of about $600 ranks it 
with Albania at the bottom of the Southern Europe 
scale. Vet in one respect, Italy and Turkey are similar. 
In both, weakly-rooted democratic institutions are 
currently being tested by the combined weight of in- 
congruous traditions and pressures associated with 
modernizing change. And in both, the effective sur- 
vival of these institutions is open to serious question. 


In assessing the prospects for Italian democracy, 
optimists are wont to stress the proven ability of the 
country’s post-war political system to weather 
recurrent political and economic crises; the increased 
capacity to respond to changing domestic imperatives 
that the system has derived from the dramatic 
economic boom of 1965-1971; and the gradual trans- 
formation of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) into 
something approaching a party of the democratic left. 
On the other hand, even the most sanguine observers 
would probably agree that parliamentary rule has not 
yet sunk firm roots in Italian soil. Moreover, the old 
formulas which brought Italy political continuity, if 
not stability, for the past quarter century show signs 
of breaking down. And, thanks in part to dislocations 
occasioned by modernizing change and world-wide 
economic strains, the problems now facing Italian 
political leaders are more numerous and more com- 
plex than ever before. 

Italy has had the shortest experience with unified 
and fully representative government of the four major 

powers of Western Europe. 51 Hence it is scarcely sur- 
prising that the nation’s historical and cultural 
heritage still creates some formidable obstacles to 
stable and effective parliamentary rule. This heritage 
includes a distrust of government, strong familial and 
patronal traditions, and a distinctly casual attitude 
toward legal and administrative regulations. It also 
includes deep-seated and cross-cutting cleavages over 
such issues as class and regional economic inequities 
and church-state relations. 

These divisive factors and forces have found reflec- 
tion in ( 1 ) the number (an average of eight) and diver- 
sity of nationally-based political parties that have vied 
for the support of the Italian electorate since 19-18 and 
(2) the pronounced factionalism within these parties 
which has prevented most of them from maintaining 
either strong leadership or a coherent policy line. No 
post-war Italian party has ever received a majority of 
the votes cast in a general election, and only once did 
one come close enough to that mark to win a majority 
of seats in even one chamber of the country’s 
bicameral legislature (the Christian Democrats in 

Coalition government (formal or tacit) has thus 
been a necessity. But Italy’s disparate and divided 
parties have been unable to work together for very 
long — even when their goals are similar. Hence, 
despite the relative consistency of overall Italian 
voting patterns since the war (40-45 percent for par- 
ties of the left, about the same for parties of the center, 
and 10-15 percent for parties of the right), the country 
has established a record for rapid cabinet turnovers 
surpassed in all of post-war Western Europe only by 
that of the ill-fated Fourth French Republic. The 
present Moro government is the 37th since the fall of 
Fascism in July 1943, and the 30th since the 
proclamation of the Republic in June 1946. 

'’Modern Italy was born as a constitutional monarchy (com plete 
with a parliament and a cabinet ministry responsible to the parliament) 
in 1870. But, with the exception of a brief and chaotic period between 
the end of World War i and Mussolini’s seizure of power in 1922, 
relatively few Italians could vote until after World War II. Moreover, 
while the Italian electorate was allowed to decide the fate of the 
monarchy and to choose a broadly representative constituent assembly 
in t ( M6, Italy’s present republican constitution (which combines some 
local innovations with elements drawn from both French and British 
political practice) was promulgated two years later without benefit of 
popular referendum. Partly because of this, and partly because of cor. • 
tinuing disparities between some of its provisions and actual political 
practice, the Italian vJonstitution is not as widely revered as might be in- 
ferred from public rhetoric. 



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In the absence of strong and united governments 
endowed with both a clear program of action and the 
security of tenure necessary to realize it, struggles 
between parties and factions and endless debates on 
coalition formulae have become substitutes for effec- 
tive legislative action. 32 Not that Italy’s fundamental 
social and economic problems have been totally ig- 
nored, but most of the constructive reforms that have 
managed to get through Parliament have been much 
weakened in the process. And their effectiveness has 
been further impaired by a grossly inefficient ad- 
ministrative bureaucracy in which sponsorship still 
outweighs merit as a criterion for recruitment and 

I he popular frustrations generated by government 
paralysis have led to more frequent recourse to direct 
political action. Over the past decade, there has been 
an upward trend in protest demonstrations, trade un- 
ion agitation, and, more ominously, acts of political 
violence. At the same time, the corrupting influence of 
Italy’s vast subterranean political and administrative 
patronage network (popularly known as the soltogover- 
ho) has grown more pervasive. 

Predictably, these praetorian tendencies 
have together with an accompanying increase in 
general lawlessness— swelled the ranks of those favor- 
ing a basically authoritarian solution to their 
country’s ills. Although it still commands less than 10 
percent of the vote in most parts of the country, the 
neo -Fas cist Mowmenlo Sociale Itahano (MSI) has scored 

Beginning with Prime Minister Dc Gaspcri’s espousal of the “re- 
formist center” slogan in the late 1940’s. Italian politicians have vainly 
sought some sort of magic formula for constructing stable and effective 
coalition governments. Although it was to be revived briefly ten years 
later, the perennially dominant Christian Democrats’ original centrist 
solution had been pretty well discredited by 1963. At the instigation of 
Aldo Muro and Amintcrc Fanfani, it was then replaced by a 
‘center-left’ formula which established Italy’s third-ranked but fac- 
tion-ridden Socialist Party as the Christian Democrats’ principal coali- 
tion partner. Now, in part because of electoral gains scored by both the 
far left and the far right, and in part because of continued governmental 
instability, this formula too has come under serious challenge. On one 
hand, pressures are mounting for the adoption of a new formula that 
would increase leftist influence (i.e., cither the Socialist-sponsored 
“privileged axis” which would make the Socialists and Christian 
Democrats <„-*/»«/ senior partners in an otherwise conventional 
center-left coalition, or the “historic compromise” touted by the 
Communists— a still vaguely defined proposal for a working 
alliance with both the Christian Democrats and the Socialists which 
would bring the PCI, Italy’s second largest party, into the national 
government for the first time since 1947). On the other hand, some 
of the more ardent opponents of a further opening to the left have 
suggested systemic changc-in the form of establishing a strong 
Gaullist-type presidency— as a preferable solution. 

substantial gains over the past four years in both local 
and nation-wide elections. The MSI now holds 51 
parliamentary seats (i.e., nearly as many as the 
Socialists), and its growing strength at the polls was 
probably one of the factors that recently prompted 
Christian Democratic Party Secretary Fanfani to shift 
his ground and to make an open bid for the support of 
the dissatisfied right with strong talk on the need for 
law and order. 

At the other end of the political spectrum, the PCI 
has registered ? slight gain in every national election 
held since the war. Although excluded from par- 
ticipation in the national government since 1947, it 
polled 27.2 percent of the vote in the 1972 parliamen- 
tary elections and now holds 179 of 630 parliamentary 
seats (i.e., two-thirds the number held by the 
Christian Democrats and about as many as held by all 
other parties combined). Moreover, the PCI presently 
administers — in most cases in collaboration with the 
Socialists— 3 of 20 regions, a dozen (out of 94) prov- 
inces, and about 20 percent of all municipal coun- 
cils. And its behind-the-scenes influence is growing in 
a number of areas still dominated by the Christian 

Equally significant, the Christian Democratic Party 
is itself clearly losing ground— partly because of a 
natural tendency to blame the principal governing 
party for the country’s current economic problems^ 
and partly because of its continued inability to 
provide an effective administration. 34 Moreover. 

" Hie political prospects of the MSI arc limited, however, by the fact 
thiil the fitter's Fascist character effectively precludes it from becoming 

the focal point of a broad groundswcll of conservative discontent or 

even from formal participation in a governing coalition. Indeed, its very 
existence runs counter to both the spirit and the letter or the Italian 
Constitution. And its claim to respectability has been further under- 
mined by the fact that most acts of political terrorism in Italy in recent 
>cnrs have been carried out by right-wing extremists. 

“Italy is currently experiencing its most serious economic and lino 
rial crisis ol the post-war era. By late 1974, economic recession had been 
added to year-long problems with rampant inflation and oil-aggravated 
balancc-of-payment woes. Thus, when Prime Minister Moro took of- 
fice, lie was faced with: 

A sharp slump in industrial production. 

—Rising unemployment. 

— i he worst inflation rate in recent Itaiian history (28 percent). 
-A current account deficit of nearly S8 billion-coupled with peri- 
lously low foreign exchange reserves and a poor international 
credit rating. 

Trade union demands (since largely satisfied) for inflationary in- 
creases in cost-of-living allowances, pensions, and other fringe 
benefits. 3 



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Christian Democratic unity (always a tenuous affair 
considering the fact that the party’s factional 
groupings have traditionally spanned the spectrum 
from the near-Mar.dst left to the extreme right) has 
been severely strained by the rebuff the party suffered 
in the divorce referendum of May 1974 and by the 
steady electoral gains scoi ed by both the Communists 
and neo- Fascists. 

All told, the growing polarization of the Italian 
political scene at the expense of the nebulous center 
threatens to upset the complex balance of conflicting 
interests and ideologies that has enabled the country 
to weather so many seemingly mortal crises over the 
past 30 years. Granted, it is possible that the PCI may 
suffer as the result of popular reaction to recent 
developments in Portugal. But unless the regional 
elections scheduled for June 1975 reveal a reversal of 
present Italian political trends, the chances are that 
the Christian Democrats will fairly soon be unable to 
forge a viable governmental coalition without 
reaching a modus vivendi with the Communists. 35 And 
should the formal entry of the PCI into the Italian 
Government be hastened by political or economic 
crisis, it could have profoundly destabilizing effects. 

For one thing, such a development could provoke 
serious domestic disorders — and possibly a coup 
attempt. v ‘ For another, it could split the Christian 
Democratic Party down the middle. And if that were 
to happen, the chances of forming a stable and effec- 
tive coalition government within the framework of 
Italy’s existing political system would be slimmer 
than ever. Indeed, in the absence of both a 
broad-based centrist party and a clear popular man- 
date for either the right or the left, Italy might rather 
quickly end up with some form of authoritarian rule. 

However, in the more likely event of a gradual ac- 
commodation with the PCI, there is a good chance 

' The alternative of trying to breathe new life into the center-left for- 
mula by giving a larger slice of the political cake to the Socialists would 
solve few of the problems that have contributed to the instability of 
center-left coalitions in the past, and thus would seem to hold little 
prospect of enduring success. 

v ‘ Ami-Communist sentiment is strong in the upper echelons of the 
Italian military establishment. Thus, in the event of precipitous PCI 
entry into the government, a coup attempt led or backed by senior of- 
ficers would be a distinct possibility. But since, under most circum- 
stances, there would be a good chance that neither the Carabinieri 
(paramilitary police) nor the bulk of the armed forces’ middle and 
lower ranks would support such an effort, the likelihood of failure would 
be high. 

that pragmatic considerations of political advantage 
might prompt most members of the Christian Demo- 
cratic right wing to bite the bullet and remain in place. 
In that case, the Christian Democratic Party would be 
likely to emerge as the senior partner in the eventual 
new governing coalition, and the destabilizing impact 
of formal Communist participation in the government 
would be less pronounced. 37 Nevertheless, the dangers 
of rightist plots and disorders would persist. 
Moreover, despite the overwhelming parliamentary 
majority it would enjoy, the ideologically multi-hued 
new coalition would probably be rather fragile for 
quite some time. And since many Italians would view 
it as a sort of ’ st resort solution, any signs of poor per- 
formance would probably result in mounting 
pressures for systemic change on both the left and the 
right. Indeed, unless Christian Democratic-PGl 
collaboration produced encouraging results — par- 
ticularly in the economic field — the longer term 
prospects for Italian parliamentary democracy would 
still be guarded. 


In Turkey, just as in Italy, representative govern- 
ment is basically a post-war innovation. To the 
delight of Western observers, it seemed to evolve 
naturally out of a highly progressive and increasingly 
liberal authoritarian system of rule. In fact, however, 
it was just another “Westernizing” import es- 
poused — for differing reasons and with various 
degrees of enthusiasm— by most members of the 
modernizing elite that had dominated the Turkish 
political scene since 1923. And while multi-party 
democracy was rather quickly embraced by Turkey’s 
politically untutored and theretofore politically 
emasculated masses, the record since suggests that the 
transition was premature. 

When Mustafa Kcmal (Ataturk) seized power and 
proclaimed the Turkish Republic in 1923, his 
countrymen were unaccustomed to anything but 

‘ (liven the unique characteristics of the PCI and its doctrinal dedica- 
tion to a pluralistic political system, there is considerable controversy 
over just how serious the implications of Communist entry into the 
Italian Government would be for US strategic and economic interests. 
Although this issue falls outside the purview of this study, it is addressed 
at some length in NIE 24-1-74, hospects for and Consequences of Increased 
Communist Influence in Italian Politics , 18 July 1974, and OPR’u 
forthcoming The Communist Party of Italy: An Analysis and Some 
Pred ic lions. 


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autocratic rule.’" Moreover, the sweeping social, 
political, and economic reforms that he had in mind 
clearly required strong, centralized government. 
Kcmal reconciled these authoritarian imperatives 
with his commitment to parliamentary rule by es- 
tablishing a one-party system. Backed by his enor- 
mous personal prestige this arrangement worked fair- 
ly smoothly until his death in 1938 (and for a few 
years thereafter). But Kcmal ’s successor as Turkey’s 
President and leader of the Republican People’s Party 
(RPP), Ismet Inonu, was more liberally inclined, and 
in 1945 he authorized the formation of opposition par- 
ties. Five years later, one of these— Adnan Mendercs’ 
Democrat Party won a massive electoral victory over 
the RPP and thereupon formed Turkey’s first 
genuinely representative government. 

Phis bold new experiment began to break down 
before it was fairly underway. Belying its name, the 
victorious Democrat Party rather promptly moved to 
mute its critics— first through a series of legislated 
restrictions on civil and political rights and then by 
extralegal means as well. Political recriminations and 
violence increased apace, culminating in the military 
“revolution” of May 1960 (the first instance of direct 
military intervention in Turkish political affairs in 
over three decades). 

The 18 months of avowedly caretaker military rule 
that followed effectively returned Turkish democracy 
to square one. The discredited Democrat Party was 
banned. Menderes and two of his principal associates 
were hanged. A more liberal constitution (interesting- 
ly enough, patterned in good part on the Italian Con- 
stitution of 1947) was adopted by popular referen- 
dum. New elections were held, and in October 1961, 
civilian government was restored— albeit under the 
watchful eye of the military establishment. 

But starting over in this way did not help very 
much. However distruptive in its own right, the 
high-handed behavior of Democrat Party leaders dur- 
ing the 1950’s had only been sympathetic of the root 
causes for the rapid decline of multi-party democracy. 

I he I urks got a brief exposure to Western democratic practices in 
1870 when a group of senior military, political, and religious officials 
persuaded Sultan Abdul Hamid II (later known as Abdul Hamid the 
Damned) to accept a constitution providing for a representative 
parliament. Hamid dumped this experiment less than two years later 
and ruled as a despot until reformist Army elements forced him to 
resurrect the constitution and swear fealty to the Turkish Parliament in 
1908. What emerged, however, was not crowned parliamentary 
democracy but de facto military dictatorship. 

kor their part, illiberal constitutional “flaws” had 
been no more than a secondary contributing factor. 
I he real trouble lay in large part with two interrelated 
and relatively intractable phenomena: the socially 
fragmenting impact of forced-draft modernization and 
the persistence of strong authoritarian traditions. 
And, ironically, both of these were reinforced by the 
military’s “Salvationist” intervention. 

1 he forces at work on the Turkish political scene 
are complex and changing. In the late 1940’s, 
democratization surfaced the deep cleavages that 
separated the Ataturkist modernizing elite (with its 
emphasis on secularization and state control of 
economic affairs) from the traditionalist peasantry, on 
the one hand, and from the rising entrepreneurial 
class on the other. Since then, the task of achieving the 
degree of consensus needed for stable and effective 
democratic government has been further complicated 
by new demands generated by a burgeoning urban 
proletariat, the growth of extremist ideologies of both 
the left and the right, and a corresponding increase in 
fragmentation of the political and intellectual elite. 
The harsh treatment meted out to Democrat Party 
leaders added another contentious issue to this brew. 
At the same time, however, the liberalized political 
ground rules adopted at military insistence made 
Turkey’s democratic institutions more vulnerable 
than ever to the divisive currents affecting the general 

The 1961 constitution established an elaborate 
system of checks and balances designed to foreclose 
any recurrence of the governmental excesses of the 
1950 s. Together with an accompanying proportional 
representation electoral law, it created a permissive 
political climate that resulted in: (1) the potentially 
unsettling emergence of a direct and widely popular 
successor to the outlawed Democrat Party (Suleyman 
Demircl s Justice Party); (2) a proliferation of splinter 
parties; (3) governmental immobilism; and (4) grow- 
ing instability highlighted by intra-party factional dis- 
putes, student unrest, labor strife, and, by th- end of 
the decade, urban terrorism. 

No party won more than 37 percent of the vote in 
the 1961 elections, and for the next four years, Turkey 
was governed by a series of weak coalition cabinets 
(all but one of which were headed by the RPP’s aping 
Ismet Inonu). In 1963, the Justice Party won (and in 
1969, it retained) majority control of the government. 
But the temporary demise of coalition politics did not 


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result in significantly stronger or more dynamic 
leadership. Much of DemirePs energy during his first 
four years in office was devoted to domestic 
fence-mending and to dealing with the ever-explosivc 
Cyprus issue. Thereafter, he had to contend with a 
growing rift between Justice Party moderates and 
conservatives which soon culminated in a purge of the 
latter and their formation of a party of their own. 

In any event, the military became increasingly im- 
patient with DemirePs unwillingness or inability to ex- 
ert his leadership to maintain law and order or to 
secure the passage of the new social reforms it desired. 
Finally, in March 1971, the commanders of Turkey’s 
armed forces jointly forced DemirePs resignation with 
a memorandum in which they threatened to take 
direct control of the country unless a new “above par- 
ty” government was formed wh***h would impose 
stringent internal security measures and enact 
“Ataturkist reforms.” Thus ended Ankara’s second 
stab at representative democracy. 

For the next two and a half years, Turkey operated 
under indirect military rule. Four successive nonpar- 
tisan civilian governments strove to comply with the 
requirements set forth in the 1971 coup memoran- 
dum. Their principal achievement was restoration of 
public order — a process which required maintenance 
of martial law in some Turkish provinces throughout 
most of the period in question. But despite the lack of 
equivalent progress on the reform front, the military 
establishment soon became tired of— and increasingly 
divided by — its demanding political role. In April 
1973, it passively accepted the Turkish Parliament’s 
rejection of its preferred candidate for President. And 
six months later, it took advantage of con- 
stitutionally-scheduled general elections to withdraw 
to the political sidelines and permit restoration of 
representative government. 

The game resumed amid more confusion than ever. 
Reflecting the trend toward factional infighting, 
splits, and defections that had marked the past four 
years, three of the eight parties that competed in the 
October 1973 elections were new arrivals on the 
political scene. Moreover, ihc two principal con- 
tenders, the RPP and the Justice Party, had both un- 
dergone a considerable change in orientation and 
appeal since the 1969 elections. Under the leadership 
of Bulent Ecevit, the reformist and once urban and 
elitist RPP had moved steadily leftward, and in 1973 
it seemingly shucked off its historic reliance on the 

nation’s military, bureaucratic, and academic elites 
with a populistic campaign aimed at wooing the 
peasant and slumdweller vote. For its part, the ini- 
tially conservative Justice Parly had taken on an in- 
creasingly moderate image since 1969 — a shift which 
won the approval of a number of reformist elements, 
but which cost the party much of its original support 
from peasants, rural landholders, and the rising com- 
mercial class. 

The result was a stand-off. Ecevit ’s RPP won a 
plurality with only 33 percent of the vote. ’Die Justice 
Party, suffering from inroads made by two new 
right-wing parties, was close behind with 29 percent. 
For more than three months, neither major party was 
able to form a viable coalition or minority 
government. Finally, in early 1974, Ecevit succeeded 
in forging an unlikely partnership between his secular, 
left-leaning organization and the Islam-oriented new 
National Salvation Party that gave him a very slim 
parliamentary majority. Bui this marriage of con- 
venience was doomed from the start. Punctuated by 
recurrent squabbles, it lasted just long enough to see 
the country through the critical initial phases of the 
current Cyprus crisis. 

In mid-September 1974, Ecevit sought to exploit 
popular approval of his handling of the Cyprus 
situation to his own and RPP advantage by resigning 
his post as Prime Minister and advocating new elec- 
tions. Far from swiftly achieving the results he 
desired, however, his actions provoked the longest 
political crisis in the brief history of Turkish 
parliamentary democracy. In the absence of a ma- 
jority consensus in Parliament in favor of early elec- 
tions, the persistent reluctance of Turkey’s disparate 
political parties to work together simply ushered in a 
new period of indecisive caretaker government. By 
mid-March 1973, six months of governmental 
paralysis had triggered a resurgence of protest ac- 
tivities and political violence. And signs of military 
rcstivcncss were mounting accordingly. 

Indeed, there is more than an outside chance that 
the Turkish military establishment will not wait to see 
how things work out on their own. Not that Turkey's 
senior military commander? seem to be particularly 
anxious to become embroiled in politics so soon again. 
But they must reckon with the views of their impatient 
younger colleagues. And while the opinions of in- 
dividual officers on appropriate courses of action vary 


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widely, there is general agreement on one point: 
Turkey’s current constellation of 
problems — including the ongoing confrontation with 
Greece and mounting economic ills — makes strong 
and effective central government more necessary than 
ever . v> 

If the 1 urkish military establishment docs intervene 
again, the sooner it moves the more likely that its ob- 
jectives will be limited to forcing new elections. But if 
Turkey’s governmental crisis drags on— or if it 
culminates in the formation of an obviously ineffective 
cabinet — the Turkish armed forces will probably 
become increasingly inclined to opt for another in- 
terlude of indirect or direct military rule. And if they 
do, the interruption in Ankara’s experiment with 
representative government might not be quite so brief 
as in the past.' 10 

Even in 1960 there were elements in the military es- 
tablishment that strongly favored retaining pov/er, 
and nothing that has happened since is likely to have 
increased the level of confidence within the Turkish 
armed forces in unfettered parliamentary democracy. 
More important, perhaps, there has been a change in 
both the internal and external climate. First of all, 
partly because of the increasing currency of reformist 
military rule, and partly because of the changing 

''Turkey is in the midst of a 15-year development program (1963*77) 
aimed at modernizing and industrializing its traditional, 
agriculture-based economy. Despite its political troubles and recurrent 
bouts with balancc-of-paymcnts difficulties and inflation, the country 
maintained an average economic growth rate of better than 7 percent 
until mid- 1 974. Since then, its economic prospects have been clouded 
by rising oil prices (which, together with sharp wage hikes, food short- 
ages, and increases in the cost of non-petroleum imports, have pushed 
the annual inflation rate to nearly 35 percent) and the impact of the 
general economic downturn in Europe. By the close of 1974, Turkey 
had amassed a record trade deficit (82 billion). Worker remittances 
were declining and returning emigrant workers were aggravating a 
perennially serious unemployment problem. Moi cover, the costly 
Cyprus operation had thrown the budget out of whack. And the cut-off 
of US military aid in early 1975 promised further difficulties. 

"’Given the absence of strong leftist influence in Turkey, the thrust of 
a protracted new military sally into the political arena would be un- 
likely to depart markedly from that of the 1960 and 1971 interventions. 
Hence, its domestic and international ramifications would probably be 
in many ways the same. At the same time, however, a return to 
authoritarian rule in Ankara would probably not result in a sharp rever- 
sal of the current cooling trend in US-Turkish relations. Some improve- 
ment could be expected, but in today’s environment, nationalistic senti- 
ment in I urkey is likely to continue to run high. 'Thus, just how signifi- 
cant and durable this improvement might prove to be would probably 
depend heavily on the ultimate resolution of Turkey’s twin disputes 
with Greece and Ankara’s perception of US efforts towards this end. 

nature of Turkey's relationships with Washington and 
Western Europe, the military might feel under less 
pressure to withdraw than in the past. Moreover, the 
RPP is no longer the reliable civilian ally that it was 
under Inonu. And worse still from the standpoint of 
Turkey’s self-appointed guardians of the revolutions 
of 1923 and I960, the political fragmentation of 
Turkish society has now reached a level which 
threatens to frustrate all constitutionally-based efforts 
to reestablish a national sense of direction. 

In any event, whether or not Turkey weathers its 
current problems without falling back on an 
authoritarian solution, the outlook for Turkish 
democracy in the decade ahead is poor. Not only docs 
the country still lack many of the societal attributes 
required for stable and effective democratic rule, but it 
is just now entering a critical midstage of development 
in which the stresses and strains on its political in- 
stitutions are likely to be particularly severe. 


The foregoing country sketches underscore the fact 
that to be stable and effective, any non-totalitarian 
regime — whether authoritarian or democratic — must 
be in basic consonance with prevailing customs and 
circumstances. A nation’s political culture cannot be 
changed by fiat; although far from immutable, its 
evolution is a function of overall societal development. 
Unfortunately, this relationship is still imperfectly un- 
derstood. In particular, further research is needed to 
collate and clarify the prerequisites for — and har- 
bingers of — systemic change. 

In any event, a fragmented society endowed with 
strong authoritarian traditions and subject to the 
destabilizing pressures of modernization provides 
marginal soil for representative democracy. For one 
thing, established clientage relationships and the lack 
of national consensus on basic issues or experience in 
the art of practical compromise arj quite likely to 
result in the emergence of a large number of per- 
sonalistic, ill-disciplined, and highly combative 
political parties once the restraints of 
authoritarianism are removed. And if, under these cir- 
cumstances, the game is played under fully 
democratic rules, the chances for recurrent 
governmental instability — and for reversion to 
authoritarianism— will be high. 


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Moreover, most nations in the world today have a 
natural propensity toward authoritarian rule — both 
because it is easier to establish and maintain than 
cither democracy or totalitarianism and because it is 
more familiar (i.c., more closely akin to the various 
kinds of traditional autocracies and oligarchies that 
they have experienced in the past). At the same time, 
however, the mounting problems and tensions which 
promise to perpetuate— and perhaps to spread— both 
authoritarianism and militarism in the decade ahead 
will also make any form of rule more difficult. 

Some authoritarian governments, botli civilian and 
military, will prove equal to the tasks they will face. 
But many more will not, and in most cases their 
demise will not result in the establishment of c signif- 
icantly different or more effective regime. Predict- 
able increases in pressures on the West for greater 
assistance and concessions to developing nations arc 
thus likely to be accompanied by greater instability in 
various countries around the world and a related rise 
in abrasive nationalistic sentiment. 

Popular demands and expectations tend to outpace 
governmental capabilities by the greatest margin in 
nations which are at or near a middle stage of social 
and economic development. Hence, the countries of 
Southern Europe will probably be subject to a par- 
ticularly broad range of destabilizing pressures for 

some time to come. In fact, world-wide economic 
strains arc likely to make it increasingly difficult for 
them to develop or maintain the necessary conditions 
for enduring democratic rule. But given the complex- 
ity of their circumstances, relatively stable and effec- 
tive authoritarian alternatives will also prove to be 

I hus, the outlook for Southern Europe as a whole 
over the next ten years is for considerable turbulence 
and political experimentation. And while the 
prospects for the survival or revival of democratic 
practices vary widely throughout the area, the 
chances arc that the bulk of this experimentation will 
focus on differing forms of authoritarian rule. 

The problems that US policy-makers will face in 
attempting to cope with this situation in Southern 
Europe will be delicate and complex. There is a 
danger that new extremist dictatorships of either the 
left or the right might emerge. Then, too, continued 
political instability ah ne might breed xenophobic 
nationalism. Either of these developments would 
threaten US and NATO interests in the region 
generally. Moreover, popular distaste for 
authoritarian regimes of any sort (even those which 
prove to be relatively enlightened and effective) is 
likely to continue to run high in both the US and 
Western Europe. 


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